The Growing Season Begins. Now.

Winter                                             Waning Moon of the Cold Month   -13 at 8 am today

Just slept 11 hours.  After a two-hour nap.  And ten hours the night before.  My body is at work, fending off this chest cold I have.  I feel pretty good right now, but I don’t think it’s quite done.  Still, fluids, steam baths and rest.  That’s the ticket.

Today I put some seeds in their places:  leeks, lettuce and chard.  The lettuce and chard, once they reach two leaves in size, will go up into the hydroponics for use now.  The leeks will 06-05-10_leeksandpeas670keep on growing, too, also up in the hydroponics once they become youngsters and not babies, but they will go in the ground outside as soon the ground can be worked. (I think.  May be a bit later.)  Over February, March and April other plants will follow the same process, growing up to two leaves, then getting transferred to the nutrient baths of the hydroponics.  Each one, in its own time, will go outside to the waiting beds.  They will augment the garlic, the strawberries, the raspberries, the asparagus already growing there.

This year our planting will be more informed by several years of growing vegetables together, Kate grew some before.  We’ll plant what we need for canning, preserving in other ways like drying and freezing.  We’ve eaten well from our gardens over the last few years, but not as well as we could.  There’s always room for improvement.

One area for improvement is management of the orchard.  That will occupy some serious thought in March and April.  Fruits, especially trees, are different from vegetables, more vulnerable to insects and disease.  We’ll see what there is to do.

This will be the first growing season with Kate home full-time, so we’ll test out how that works.  Bound to help.

Then, too, in April, the bees begin to come out of their winter ball.  I over-wintered three colonies though I’m unsure about their survival.  I’d be surprised if all three pull through the 06-20-10_garden_6703winter, but delighted.  I’d understand if only two made it, but I’d be disappointed with one.  I’ve got a long ways to go before I’m a good bee-keeper, but I have years to go before I sleep.  Time enough.

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