It feels like summer, with high 80°F temperatures over the last two weeks. This has caused some cool-weather crops to bolt and profuse sweat to be a daily battle. The potato research project is all planted out, ending the busiest period of that project for the institute staff. Otherwise, we’re working to put down garden beds.
Finally, all the plots are planted for our potato study. In the last two weeks, we’ve planted in Brodhead, Stoughton, Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Driftless area, Milton, and Evansville.
The bees for the mite-tolerant breeding project have arrived and are installed in the neighborhood. These are hives with Saskatraz bees, bred through natural selection to have some mite resistance.
One nice thing about living in a community like Cooksville is that we have events like the local talent review last week, when folks from around the village sang and played for the rest of us less-talented folks. The setting was our neighbor’s English-style barn often used for weddings. Another field trip was out to Terra Simpla, our neighbors down the street with a great permaculture property and retreat center.
Garden work continues, establishing beds, planting out starts and seeds, and building infrastructure such as fences while clearing out trees and brush that block the sun. We also removed a dozen boxwood bushes from the south face of the house — the area where herb beds and solar-water-heating panels will go.
The apple grafts continue to grow. Ten out of twelve show good growth and only one of the remaining two looks dead. I’ll let it grow out some starts from the root stock and graft onto it next year.