In this week of Hour-A-Day Gardening . . .
Every Type of Weather
This week had everything, from hot to cold and rain to sun. We need the precipitation, as we’re still in a deficit from last year, but with rain every other day or so, the ground never dries enough to prep the fields for oats, barley, etc. Instead, I have to content myself making videos, podcasts, and work inside the greenhouses.
For the last three years, we have been planting, harvesting, processing, and spinning flax. Our friend, Holin, from the Victorian Technology Institute, came to help us seed on a cold, Saturday morning. We used the Earthway garden seeder and the “beet, chard” seed plate to plant 1.5 lb of Avian flax. Part of it was purchased from the Hermitage and part was from my saved seed from last year. We put down about 25-35 plants per foot with rows spaced about 6 inches apart. Flax is 90 days to harvest for fiber or 120 days for seed.
We hosted out annual apple grafting and pruning workshop last weekend. We had a dozen or so folks out to learn the ins and outs of apple tree care. We spent time out at the orchard we manage, taming the abandoned trees and fretting over the vole damage to the trunks.
This week, during cold weather, I was able to get the greenhouse skinned and move all the spare equipment and parts inside before it started raining. I got a little of the end walls up, but have to finish these before the tomatoes and sweet potatoes go in.
Hardening Off Starts
I moved out four flats of plants from the in-ground greenhouse to be hardened off. In the greenhouse, they are protected from UV, wind, rain, and the elements. If I planted them right off, they might die of shock. By leaving them outside for more time each day, they “harden off” and are able to take the conditions. I do run a fan on my starts in the greenhouse to strengthen their stems. Otherwise they grow too high and weak too quickly.
The four flats held 200 pea shoots, 60 dutch flat cabbage, 20 red express cabbage, 40 bok choi, 20 leaf lettuce, 60 kale+mustard hybrid, 40 cauliflower, and 30 red kale.
Bed Prep Continues
And the last of the beds in the garden close to the house are finished after a marathon four hours of wheel-barrow work on Thursday, bringing loads of horse manure, rotted blue-stem straw, and woodchips hither and yon over the garden. Things now stand at 28 prepared out of 41 total beds, averaging 4 x 20 ft.
Volunteers and Support
We’re always looking for volunteers. If you want to spend a few hours in a garden (and take home something yummy for your trouble), reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It can be regular or sporadic as you have time.
We’re also asking those who get something out of reading our site, watching our videos, and listening to our podcast to join the community of supporters of the institute by throwing us a few bucks a month on Patreon. If you’re in a position to help us out, a little goes a long way. Thanks for considering it.
Here’s the breakdown day by day. This week, I worked 11:15 again, bringing my total to 46 minutes a day.