Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Start of Something Big

Of course, it’s only the 8th of April. All the perennials seem almost panicked at the speed with which spring has arrived this year! Taking a stroll out into the blooming yard, I can almost hear the Peonies, Iris, Clematis, all huffing and puffing to keep apace with this miraculous onset of summertime sun and overly warm temperatures!

They’re not alone! MM and I are huffing and puffing, too! Here’s a look at what happens out here just off the one-lane road, when gardening season opens. This is the time for the hefty equipment to chop things down and get serious about planting.

We have baby plants putting on their third leaf; the strawberries arrived yesterday and rather than put them out directly, I have them in leaf mulch awaiting planting after this cool wake-up call sails through, weatherwise, late tonight and tomorrow.

Thankfully, there are some things that don’t need much of anything from us except for a little fertilizer. Some, like the violets, are perennial joys that pop up and almost sing with their beauty! Our yard is “naturalized”…meaning, there are not any formalized beds and to some extent, we make use of pretty “weeds” in certain areas, as well. As the season moves forward I will share the views with you.

And, of course, out here JOTOLR, we grow those “exotic” fruits and veggies that are so expensive in the store—asparagus, rhubarb, pears, hazel nuts, peaches, fresh garlic, raspberries, blackberries and, of course, strawberries! And talk about flavor! Fresh from the garden and oh-so-good!

One thing to point out is our garden FENCE. We have DEER and we have RABBITS. They are both huge pests! The rabbits ate the bark off one of our fruit trees this past winter and it is…after four years of waiting for it to fruit…now dead. So, it is necessary --especially with the garden--to fence these critters out. Our fence is six feet tall. We use poultry netting. This particular fence is needing replacement probably by next year. But for now, it does the job against both rabbits and deer. Air pollution in the form of acid rain makes our fences rust sooner than they would were the air not full of corrosive vapors. So, with the rabbits and deer and the coal-based electricity the gardener is challenged.

Planting time is both fun and demanding. You can see that our garden is quite large. As the season progresses I’ll share with you some of the things we do to make food “happen!” Keep your fingers crossed that we’re touched only lightly by this onset of cold this evening and tomorrow, that it is only a fleeting brush with the residue of winter!

This last photo is of the pear crop now in process!


  1. Elora, Your description of spring farming is wonderful. I have grown fruits, vegetables, and flowers since I was a young girl. Something about the smell of the overturned soil, the first plant leaf and the harvest make my soul sing. Yes, many failures over the years but that is life. Now, I am reduced to a very small patch to garden which provides quite a bit considering the size. Like your mention of the naturalized yard. Everything except my small garden is naturalized. Looking forward to reading about your farming activities as the season advances through the summer and fall. -- barbara

  2. Hi Elora,
    I've been out of town all week and just got to read your last several posts. How beautiful it is there this almost reminds me of Arkansas! I'm very interested in keeping up with your farming endeavors and love the pictures. I can't do anything this summer but can some vegetables since we will be away for 4 months (and I'm hoping to get some canning done there but I'm not positive I'll be able to) but next summer I have plans for a small garden. I'll be learning through some of your work. :) blessings, marlene