The farm is a busy place right now, spring seed starting season is upon us. We have seed trays in the dinning room, in bathrooms, and in the kitchen. Pretty much any and all sunny windows have seeds in front of them. We start seeds so early because we do a lot of planting in the high tunnel. We will actually be putting more seeds directly in the ground in the high tunnel soon. Currently, we have carrots, lettuce and chard growing. Depending on weather forecasts we will be starting more lettuce, beets, carrots, peas, kale, radishes, and kohlrabi.
Most of our seeds have germinated really well. Every year I have some I have to plant more than once, but this year the pepper plants would not grow at all. I have a seed problem, as I have explained before, I read seed catalogues for fun. Better than any blockbuster Hollywood hit if you ask me. When I find a seed verity I like, I stick to it. I become very picky. One seed that I will not do without is Intruder Bell Pepper. These green beauties, grow amazing in my garden. Have thick walls with an mouth watering crunch. They are just sweet enough to eat like an apple straight from the plant. I know these seeds are tried and true. This year NONE of them sprouted. After panicking and having to take several deep breaths, I thought about reasons why they were not growing. I know the seed is good. They have light, the right amount of water and humidity. Still nothing. I had to walk away, then like a ton of bricks it hit me…. they were too cold. To solve this problem we put a heat pad underneath the seed tray. Like magic two days later we have germination starting. What a relief.
In addition to the seeds for the garden, I have started another round of sprouts. If you don’t grow anything else, grow sprouts. They are so good for you and give you the crunch in the winter when there is not much fresh. I grow my sprouts on the window ceil behind my kitchen sink. I use a mason jar and a wide mouth sprout lid. You can make one using window screen, cross stitch plastic mesh, or an old shirt. The air needs to be able to get in and out and you have to be able to drain the water off the sprouts. It takes about 5 days start to finish depending on the seed you use. These are alfalfa sprouts on day 3. I will have to fight to not eat them before day 5. I really enjoy them on a chicken salad sandwich, a salad, a turkey sandwich and sometimes just a pinch when I walk by!
The last two weeks have been a perfect time to prune our blueberry plants. They have just started to bud. We have several different verities that produce at different times, so they bud at different times. I have my lasted budding verity still to do, but everyone else has been all trimmed up. The cicadas really did a number on the blueberry plants last year. There was a lot that was dead and needed to be trimmed off. We have one plant that will be cut down to just one stem. You can see the pretty red stems with new buds on them. The brittle gray stems, especially those with visible cicada damage, are trimmed off.
Processing wood never stops. It is a blessing and a curse. We are thankful to be able to heat our house and cook at times with wood, however, a lot of “energy” still goes into firewood. This weekend however, I did not plan on processing wood. Mother Nature and a wind storm had other plans. An Ash tree came down on the fence in our goat yard. The blessing is no one is hurt. The bad thing is the fence took a major hit and the boy and girl goats got together for a Thursday night date. We do have some older nanny goats that we do not want to bred. Well, best laid plans, they may be kidding this year. I will let you know July 13th!
It has been a busy weekend. Still more to do as we prepare for the spring planting. We have fences to repair, chicken tractors to build, garden beds to build, pig fences to repair and rain watering systems to build. The work never ends. We are working to try and take it in stride. Doing what we can in small doses and sharing the work between everyone. I will trying to post again tomorrow with The Weekly Prep.