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Bloom and Grow

May 21, 2012

The last of the blueberry blossoms.

It is raining today; not that I will complain after two weeks of pure sun. Sunshine has such a beautiful way of lifting the spirits, doesn’t it? I could definitely tell the difference in my outlook yesterday when the drizzle started a day earlier than I expected. I was ready for the rain today and had planned for some time on the computer. It is much easier to sit at a computer when it is raining.

Blossoms on last year’s kale

We are two months into spring and the garden is growing. Yes, I did have the song Edelweiss stuck in my head last week. Everything is blooming and growing. The blueberries are finishing up with their final blossoms and setting some nice berries. We took out the last of the kale last week, in full bloom, along with the crimson clover cover crop. The beds are all prepped for planting and we are getting closer to the end of the main planting time. (Planting does continue all summer into fall, but at a much less intense pace.) This is what is planted and growing in the garden so far: garlic, fava beans, peas, carrots, beets, lettuce, fennel, endive, cabbage, kohlrabi, scallions, chard, kale, mizuna, bok choi, spinach, parsley, onions, leeks, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini and some other summer and winter squash (the last four went in just this weekend). Hopefully, by the end of the week, the rest of the squash will go in, along with more lettuce, some dry beans and the first snap beans.

Crimson clover

Though I picked the first handful of peas this weekend, I am expecting the harvest season to start the first full week of June. A little later than I had planned for, but certainly not unusual. There are a few reasons for a later start. First, some of the early seeds I started did not do well and I had to start them over again. I start them in the basement, under lights, and though I followed my usual protocol, I don’t think I let them dry out enough between waterings and they suffered from damping off disease. Then, we had record rainfall in March, which slowed down bed preparations some, though not as much as you might expect.

A pea blossom

The final reason for a later start is that my time and attention have been diverted some this spring. We have been fixing up our house to get it in shape to sell. Steven and I have been dreaming,  thinking, and looking for a few years for a larger piece of property that we could farm full time together. Though our little 1.25 acres has lots of potential for production, it is not enough to financially sustain us. Farming full time, as a sole source of income, is quite a scary thought, given how few small family farms survive without some off-farm income. After much discussion, we have decided the reward is worth the risk. If we were to wait until Steven retired, our bodies would be too old to do all the work needed. We have found a few properties with possibility and even made an offer on one three or four weeks ago, though it didn’t work out. We are still looking, so if you hear of some land with farming potential, let us know. Even if we do find something, we will still have this season here, or at least, most of it, and I am looking forward to what it will bring.

We’ll see where this dream takes us.

The first of the peas…yes, I ate it.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Barbara Scot permalink
    May 21, 2012 2:18 pm

    Thanks for the lovely post. Do you mean you would move off the island? Oh, No! I hope not as I have become quite dependent on your garden! Barb Scot

    • jcgarden permalink
      May 25, 2012 10:58 am

      Thanks, Barb! We would like to stay here. If you hear of 15+ acres of non-buildable (affordable), good farmland for sale on the island, let us know!

  2. tara west permalink
    May 21, 2012 10:55 pm

    Wow! So excited for you guys! Can’t wait to hear more about the new plan! ps- love the close-up photos. How do i find out if i have that feature on my camera?!?

    • jcgarden permalink
      May 25, 2012 11:11 am

      We have an old Nikon CoolPix 885 camera. On the mode dial that sets you up for taking pictures, video or viewing pictures, etc, there is an option called “SCENE,” which has settings for different situations, like portrait, beach/snow, landscape, sunset, indoor, close-up, etc. After about 10 years with this camera, I finally spent a little time with the manual and found out about that SCENE mode!


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