Garden Snapshot, June 22, 2015

Here we are at the Summer Solstice - the longest day / shortest night of the year. I've heard a few people lamenting that the days will be gradually getting shorter now, but I'm pretty happy for gradually-lengthening dusk-to-dawn time! More sleep! :) There is such a frenzy of planting, watering, weeding, mowing, harvesting, and a hundred other things from mid-May until the Solstice. The busiest time of the year for gardeners & farmers. Once we reach this point of the Summer, the pace relaxes just a bit, and the crazy-long days become saner. The growth rate of the plants changes, weeds don't germinate quite as readily, and the planting schedule is more manageable.

150619 greenhouse at sunset

We've had some beautiful sunsets recently.

The best part about taking this photo... I was parked on an angle just off the road, overlooking the garden, and a neighbour stopped to see if my car was stuck! We've had so much rain recently, that getting stuck is a very real possibility. It seemed a less-glamorous thing to be just taking a photo of the sunset!

Speaking of rain, we've had 8.5 inches of rain in the past 3 weeks!! (For comparison, we had only 0.2 inches of rain for most of the month of May - way too little; from one extreme to the other.) All the rain interfered with the planting / transplanting schedule, but it sure was great for everything that was already planted.

The first Vegetable Shares were this past week - but, there wasn't a photo to document the occasion. So, here is a sample of some of the produce being harvested here these days:

150618 closeup harvest

The spring flowers are over, and summer flowers are just about to begin. There seems to always be a slight "lull" mid-June between the spring and summer flowers... I hope to grow some other flowers next year that will bridge that gap.

Here is a photo of one patch of greens - phenomenal growth since the photo taken 2 weeks before!!

150609 greens patch

Some excitement here on the weekend: the sprouting broccoli started to produce! Broccoli is a tricky crop to grow, and hasn't been very successful here. I decided to try growing "sprouting broccoli" this year, in addition to the regular kind. It produces multiple mini heads (as in the photo below) over a period of a few weeks, instead of one big head.

So far - amazing! Beautiful, tender, tasty mini heads, and it looks like there are lots more to come!

150621 sprouting broccoli

The meat chicks are doing very well, and have moved from the brooder to the pasture. They are loving the grass, sunshine, fresh air, bugs. The new laying hens should be starting to lay in a week or two...

150622 chicks on pasture

In other news... the strawberry patch has almost finished producing for the season. It's just a small patch, with the objective to start a much larger patch from it for next year.

The mulberries and the cherries have started to ripen - and it seems like every bird in the area has taken note! They have been visiting the trees, and taking samples.

The problem is, the birds eat the cherries before they are fully ripe (still sour), and we wait to pick them when they're ripe. I'm trying a few things to deter them, because I want to harvest the cherries too! Hopefully we can keep them away long enough to be able to share the harvest...