Warm dry weather has at last arrived after what seems to have been an unusually cool wet spring. That means the 3 C's are in the middle of a "big push", getting the last of the garden planted.
Richard has completed a big project of "raised beds". We are happy to report that our 1/3 acre garden is now composed of all raised beds. That is a very big deal. It marks a significant difference in the look of the garden since we moved in and the possibilities for it. Melanie started with raised beds that very 1st year (2007). In 2009, Richard converted 1 area to 3 raised beds, plus we had done some sheet mulching the fall before. Over the gardening seasons, we could see the better results on the raised beds. So we became "converted".
Richard has used "Tillie" the rototiller to soften up the soil. Then he dug and pushed the soil by hand into raised beds. He has been careful to create contours that follow the natural drainage patterns of the area. It is really exciting to see the results. (Mike helped with this when he was here about 2 weeks ago.)
Today was a "Fruit Day". I worked on planting Dry Edible Beans, Indian Corn and Squash (Butternut). I now have 18 varieties of Dry Edible Beans in the ground. Today, I added 6 more: Black Beans (unknown variety), Charlesvoix Red Kidney, Painted Pony, Henderson Bush Limas, Calypso, and Lina Cisco Bird's Egg. Plus, I planted 4 varieties of Indian Corn: Mandan Bride, Seneca Red Stalker, Wade's Giant, Bloody Butcher. The latter is in a 3 Sister's Area of the Garden which will include Corn, Beans and Squash. The Corn and Squash are planted. I will add the vining Pole Beans (Native American Varieties) when the Corn is about 6 inches tall.
Richard planted Melons and Squash on this day too. Melanie was quite busy in her area of the Garden. She added compost. She planted 2 Cucumbers. She planted Jelly Melons, Okra (2 varieties), Red Rice Beans, Edamame, Mung Beans. She and Richard also created another arch out of a cattle panel. She also did a lot of weeding and preparation of garden beds for big plantings ahead.
Melanie also headed up preparation of a special meal to share. We all pitched in. Michelle, Jerry, and Oliver have just added a new baby to their family. For the 1st month, friends are doing meals for the family. In the middle of this, we learned that little Shivani (15 months) was in the hospital with pneumonia. So we made enough food to share with her family too. She's supposed to be out this evening.
Tomorrow begins a Root Time. We are really making progress. The Seeds and Plants to be planted at this season are dwindling. That feels good.
We are also ever watchful of the fields for the Sorghum Cane. So far, it has been far too wet to even consider planting. In 2008, we planted May 29. In 2009 and 2010, we planted May 30. We are indeed later this year. When the fields are dry enough, Hollis and Hollis Dale will be headed over to get those Seeds into the ground. We are eager. Waiting too long means Cane wouldn't make crop.
It seems like being a Farmer, a person's ear is always to the ground. The other one is focused on the weather just over the horizon. I kind of forget the things that consumed our attention when we lived in the city.