April 20, 2011

wip - the yard edition

Ok spring, rather, ok Iowa, what the heck? I know I shouldn't be surprised by your fickle self, but dude, you are such a tease. We've had a good handful of days of amazing over 70 degree sunshiny weather and then this weekend Guthrie said, 'mama, why does it have to snow?' Not that it stuck, but meh all the same.

The handful of beautiful days means that I have a good start on my yard this year - unlike last year when I felt like I was playing catch up until I decided to throw in the towel. Newborns and c-sections will do that to you. My garden journal reads something like 'pfft. whatever. the tomatoes were good, the weeds were excellent, and if we don't have a good year for raspberries next year I'm ditching them. bare minimum done for fall cleanup. maybe next year I'll have more, energy, time, something.'

So, this year the front is mostly cleaned out, the back is mostly cleaned out. The larger veggie bed is awaiting some dry days for the installation of a pseud0-raised bed. Not entirely traditional because I'm really just trying to fight the erosion that is taking all my excellent soil. We have lovely soil here. I planted some peas and then covered them for the snow, then appreciated my laziness in not getting the cover taken up when yesterday it hailed for a bit. They're pretty much protected from everything but the directions the wind has been taking has left them well, it's been a bit tornadic back there lately. The raspberries are pruned with the middle row ripped out because they're planted way too closely. The strawberries, well, we will see. It might be that they just need some refresher plants this year.

As Guthrie was coming home the other night she proclaimed to her Amie - look at my bloody heart! Her 'bloody heart' is just beginning to bloom and is always one of the first signs of true spring for our yard.

Last week our seeds from Seed Savers arrived. Most exciting mail I've had since that new bra came a couple months back! I'm making the decision to only grow what I want to this year. Such a novel approach to gardening I know! I let Guthrie choose several of the varieties so we will be having purple carrots, purple beans and purple radishes. Thematic, no?But we also joined a CSA for the season and we are expecting the first delivery of eggs this afternoon. I know! Delivery - like to my front porch! So excited. Some days I love this town. I'm hoping the CSA will mean I can stop shopping for produce at Hyvee and that my trips to the farmers market will be less stressful as I can go just to pick up the extras. It does get stressful with two small children to try and get enough tomatoes to can a decent amount. My biceps are pretty stellar though.

This afternoon we're taking an adventure with my mom to the sky bridge to see the flooding. The sky bridge is like the highlight of Davenport with anyone under the age of 10. Many parents we know use it as the ultimate reward for good behavior. Seeing as how we're going to see flooding, any more planting is on hold until we get some dry days. Then the lettuce and radishes will go in. Guthrie is in charge of the radishes this year. I think it will be exciting for her - and hopefully successful. And maybe this year I will like radishes more. Thank goodness John does.

Oh! I also tried another round of asparagus. Wild asparagus grows here in the most neglected ditches and drains in the country and do you think I can get any to grow in my yard? If it doesn't work this year I will call it quits. Until next year probably where I will dig out another bed I think *might* be more suitable.

One of my goals is to post what we're using our CSA produce for this summer. I think it might make me more accountable or something. We'll see. The first round of non-eggy produce should be arriving in a couple of weeks. I could use some rhubarb soda in my life these days. It's one of my favorites!

So, Iowa. Get it in gear please. We're anxiously awaiting days spent outside rather than in!

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