We’ve been spending way too much time at the farm lately, to the detriment of projects we have waiting at home. There is just such a peacefulness to the place, we just can’t seem to keep ourselves away.
We usually pack the cooler with bread and cheese (gourmet!) and the girls spend the afternoon on the rope swing or playing “Native Americans” by gathering grass seed in the fields. Jasper likes to bring his machete and whack at things in the woods. I’m sure he’d say he was doing very important work like clearing trails or getting rid of invasive plants, but he’s a boy and boys really just like to chop things with big knives, amiright?!
I, of course, do the equally important work of wandering through the rows and taking pictures of everything’s progress.
This is the first year I’ve grown blue-podded peas, and they are just so pretty! Their flowers resemble sweet-peas although, sadly, they don’t smell. I can’t wait to see the pods, and hopefully they taste as pretty as they look. The Lincoln (Homesteader) peas are also doing well, and there’s already a profusion of long, flat pods. We’re going to have to make the trip to the farm even more often when all our peas start ripening.
In other news, we ate the last bunch of radishes with our bread and cheese the other day. The rest have bolted, but I think I’m going to let them go to seed instead of pulling them out. There isn’t anything else really growing there, and I hear pollinators especially enjoy radish flowers. It would also be pretty cool if they end up self-seeding and give me free radishes next year. That would be some easy gardening.
Speaking of self-seeding, the entire floor of the tomato bed in the greenhouse is filled with volunteer tomato sprouts. Jasper and I have been ripping them out by the handful, but there’s still hundreds of them. I have to tell you, it feels downright sacrilegious to destroy all those little seedlings, after the coddling and care I’ve given to my other tomato plants. For months, literally, I brushed and blew on and talked to my plants as they grew from seed to sprout, trying to make sure they didn’t get a fungus or damp off; meanwhile, hundreds of others burst heartily and healthily from the dirt with no care whatsoever from me.
Isn’t that always the way?
The corn. The corn!
When we were planting the first bed of corn back in May, I heard crows in the forest making very interesting and unusual chirpy caws. They sounded very cute, actually, very inquisitive.
“Listen to the crows,” I told Jasper. “They wonder what we’re up to! They’re so curious!”
Jasper looked at me like I was an ignoramus and informed me that the crows knew exactly what we were up to. They weren’t curious, they were excited. Because corn. And it turned out that Jasper was right. Those crows knew. They knew and they came down to our fields and stole some of those seeds right out of the dirt. I’ve had to replant the stolen seed a couple of times, but all the seedlings are doing good now, and I’m hoping to eat the first ears of corn by the end of July.
If I was a crow, I would be chirping, too.
I talk a lot about vegetables we’re growing on the farm, but we’re also so fortunate to have delectable fruit and berries growing there, too. There are a couple of very old apple trees growing and still bearing the most delicious apples you’ve ever tasted. There are also two plum trees, numerous blueberry bushes, loganberry vines and a small patch of raspberries that is starting to come back after being nearly wiped out by deer and weeds.
There are blackberries, too, scores of them, but we don’t actually grow those. They grow themselves, and we just eat them with a lot of joy and gusto!
The last time we were there, we cleared out all the overgrowth choking the raspberry roots and hindering the canes, and were pleasantly surprised to find ripening berries! The motion-sensor deer deterrent sprinkler and the Liquid Fence we drenched everything in is really doing a great job. These are the first berries I’ve ever seen from this raspberry patch, and I think with some diligent pruning, mulching and trellising, we’ll be seeing a lot more.
We’ll be seeing a lot more of everything, with any luck!
With rake and seeds and sower,
And hoe and line and reel,
When the meadows shrill with “peeping”
And the old world wakes from sleeping,
Who wouldn’t be a grower
That has any heart to feel?
~Frederick Frye Rockwell, “Invitation,” Around the Year in the Garden, 1913