"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cold but Warm

The lake we live next to is still frozen, but with all the sun we have had the last few days it surely won't stay that way much longer.

Even the garlic is making some headway. We always plant garlic in the fall and hope for a mid to late August harvest. I was thinking of planting some more in the next day or two just to see how well it does in comparison. I wonder if the only difference will be that we end up harvesting in late September? Of course I will have to sneak it out of Mrs. H's pantry, and that my friends will be no easy task.

After a long winter of lazy indifference, Spooky, the elder my three cats and the only one allowed in the garden has come out of hibernation to join me, if the chickens and her can adapt to each other again. When the chickens were just chicks I would clean up their area using an old cat litter bucket to put the waste in. The bucket had a picture of an orange cat very similar to Spooky on it and the birds loved to peck at it when I set it down in their little pen. So now whenever they see our poor old cat they come running, because somewhere in their tiny bird brains an image of mama? or big yummy orange flower? still resides.

Spooky and I moved a few chives to a better spot today and also planted a little arugula in hopes of a head start in adding some zest to our salads, although not big on salads she will nibble on various grasses and has an obvious affection for catnip.

We left a few rows of smaller carrots in the ground this winter just to see how they would handle the cold, snow, and voles. They seem to have fared pretty well and boy do they have a sweet flavor, maybe I will make a habit of leaving some in the ground for spring. I can't imagine digging through 4+ feet of snow to get to them in the cold months, and have no doubt that a covered row would invite voles and mice to have a winter feast, but as an early spring snack...delicious.

Parsnips as well. As hard as it is to get a nice row of them to come up when I plant them, they have no problem self seeding everywhere else, like this one emerging next to our lawn.


Leigh said...

Looks like you're even a bit cooler there than we are, at least this year. Our gardens are just barely snow free.
It makes no difference when you plant it - garlic is day length sensitive so the harvest will always be the same time for your location (late July here). Earlier planting will give larger bulbs, though, because however large the plants are at summer solstice determines the bulb size to harvest. The shortening daylength after solstice triggers the plant energy to make bulbs instead of leaves.

Mr. H said...

Hello Leigh,

The last couple years have seen us with much longer winters, not so much extreme cold as lengthy cold. We had record breaking snowfall this year and the previous came in a close third. Even with all the snow it is actually melting faster this spring thanks to a week of 60-70°weather.

Thanks for the information on garlic planting, it will be interesting to see how much bigger the fall planted garlic bulbs get.

The reason I started this blog was to learn from others, like yourself, who have more knowledge or gardening experience then I...it has been most rewarding thus far.

Have a great day,


Ruralrose said...

I plant my new garlic two weeks after I harvest the old (by the moon)in July- my garlic gets nice and big - mostly planting immature garlic from harvest - peace for all

Mr. H said...

Hi Ruralrose,

We have also started planting with our own garlic and have been most happy with the results. Our garlic is definitely not huge but has a very nice flavor compared to anything store bought.

I have never planted and harvested crops according to the phases of the moon...but perhaps I should. I will also keep the two week interval between harvest and planting in mind.

Thanks for stopping by,


Prospero said...

Nice lake. Not so illogical.

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