April 8: Feels great to have been starting garden seeds and working outside this last week. Lots of fruit-tree pruning, and now that the snow is gone and the ground is thawing I’ve been able to finally start dealing with the 12 dumptruck loads of woodchips I got in the fall—I’ve been mulching, yanking out grass runners from previously-mulched areas, planting peas and favabeans all over, stomping-down the endless mole tunnels, taking stock of the place in general, listening to birds and enjoying the other work of spring. Looking forward to this growing season, esp. the perennials.
I’m currently the King of Woodchip Mountain. These piles are about 5′ tall and maybe 8′ wide and 10′ long each, here you’re seeing 11 of them dumped in a row.
April 30: I’m a proud papa today, we have new life at the forest garden: Spring Peeper frogs were singing their raucous, mysterious chorus this evening at twilight. I hoped that they were on my property and not just nearby, and sure enough, when I got close enough to tell, I found them using the little plastic pool my aunt Jackie gave me a couple years ago…and it was hard to stop smiling as I listened to their various songs. Every time I observe a new species I am so thankful for the gifts of nature. I’ve also discovered a few new wildflowers around the place this spring. Today I cast tens of thousands of seeds, here’s hoping that some take root and that the diversity and richness of life there keeps multiplying. Also, time to make more ponds!
May 9: Today was our first wild asparagus harvest of the season—some of the plants in the back 40 have just emerged from their winter slumber. I’ve been trying to encourage the wild plants and casting their seeds around with hopes for more. Meanwhile, the asparagus plants I deliberately planted near the garden are barely alive, with puny little stems if any! Funny how that works sometimes. The black cat is a friendly neighborhood wanderer who loves attention and climbing up on people. The nanking cherries and serviceberries are just shedding their blossoms, while plums, pears and apples are just beginning (and the plum blossoms smell amazing!). Spring is good!
A week or so before the asparagus came the Solomon’s seal shoots, which taste almost identical to asparagus and will grow in nearly full shade (a woodland plant). Hoping to grow a lot more of these, though the harvest window is shorter—a native plant that you can eat before most anything in the vegetable garden has even been planted.