With the warm weather we have had over the past several days with highs in the 50's and 60's, we've finally managed to rid ourselves (again) of all of our snow. To have a snowless weekend with warm spring-like temperatures to work outside and fiddle with the yard was wonderful. A glimpse of things to come.
I drafted Victor (who has been away on a business trip for four days) to prune back our wild black raspberry patch with me. We have never gone through the entire patch and cut the dead wood or carried out the old branches. When I'd had some landscaping done very early in my time at our house, the landscaper asked if I wanted him to leave the wild black raspberries. "Sure" I said. They are aggressive whipper-snappers, like mint and strawberries, so we'd beat them back as they crept into our yard and threatened to take over the place. But they had never been properly pruned. Until last year we'd never had a decent showing of black raspberries, and I was starting to regret having kept them. No longer! I read up on how to prune them, and we went to work.
Now, this tidy patch might not look impressive to you . . .
But when you look at the pile of dead wood we pruned away and hauled out of the patch, suddenly you realize what we accomplished yesterday afternoon! Wow! It's safe to say that we took out more than we left standing. Hopefully this year or next we will see a large reward for our work.
Below is our side yard - there are trees off to the left. In an effort to seek out more growing space, I've decided to use this mulchy area to grow my zucchini, pumpkins, winter squash, yellow squash, watermelons and cantaloupe. My plan is to dig large holes, fill them with loam, compost and peat moss (my leaf mold still isn't ready) and create mounds for my sprawling plants to grow. They can spread all over the mulchy area without disturbing my smaller garden that doesn't have room for such things. Clever, eh? I hope they will be happy in this location.
Here are my spring garlic shoots!
Don't they look promising?
All three varieties have sprouted now, every four inches along 3 long rows. Exciting!
Here is the happy arugula growing in my cold frames.
And my Mesclun Greens!
Here is the little farm where I get my local eggs.
Isn't this chicken coop adorable?
We'd just gotten a lot of snow the day before, so the chickens were all "cooped up"!
Normally, they are allowed to roam around on this small fenced in field to the right.
Maybe there are 30 of them? It's quite a few.
All Rhode Island Reds. Large brown eggs with gorgeous bright yellow yolks.