It’s the first green harvest of the year: 3 spinach plants that overwintered – 2 Space and 1 Double Choice hybrid – totalling 10 oz. I tasted some of the oldest outer leaves right away to see if they were bitter. They weren’t at all strong, but very sweet as if the sugars concentrated in those leaves, which were almost like a succulent leaf. They made a terrific spinach-cheese omelette. The next day in the produce section of the supermarket I noticed how pathetic and lifeless their spinach looked. Nice to know I won’t have to buy any more of that stuff.
Only 5 Copra onion seeds germinated out of 90 seeds planted in 45 cells, after 8 days in 75 F soil – a massive fail. These were 2010 seeds from Pinetree. Using onion seeds for a second year has never been a problem in the past, so this is a shock. I went to Lowe’s on Sunday and bought a packet each of Burpees Spanish Gold hybrid and Ferry Morse Utah Jumbo hybrid seeds. Hope they are as good as Copra. I seeded those and also some Red Long of Tropea onion from Pinetree, so here’s hoping for some germination this time. The first set of brassicas – kohlrabi and bok choi – are just about ready to go into the greenhouse bed, as well as some lettuce starts.
There is still a lot of work to do in the yard and garden. Usually in the fall I rake up the oak leaves, which are the last to fall, shred them and put them in the compost bin, but the weather turned foul before I could do that. Oak leaves are supposed to acidify the soil. My soil initially tested at pH 7.7 at a real lab, so it needs a lot of acidifying. Saturday things were dry enough to rake and shred some leaves, and today I finished this project, getting about one cubic yard of shredded leaf mold – that’s a lot of leaves. I added some blood meal to the shredded leaf mold as it went into the compost bin to give the microbes some nitrogen to feed on, as the leaves are a bit on the “brown” side at 50:1 carbon to nitrogen ratio. After 2 days the leaf mold was already quite warm a few inches beneath the surface, so maybe I’ll get a little something out of this when I put compost into the garden in a few weeks. This is the first cartload on Saturday, the second load filled the cart to the top:
The other ongoing project, besides the bathroom remodeling which apparently will never end, is the removal of what’s left of the cherry tree from the garden area. I’ve taken down a few trees around the property and have been fairly accurate in directing the fall of the tree. Even though I was careful to sight in the direction I wanted the tree to fall and marked out the cuts with spray paint, the tree fell about 20 feet off target and tore up 2 of the beds.
Saturday the chain was sharpened, fresh gas was purchased and mixed with oil. The cart was loaded with the saw, a pick, a 2x4 for leverage, gas and chain oil then hitched to the garden tractor for the trip to the disaster site 100 feet away. Most of the upper branches were too rotten to use for firewood, but the main trunks (it was a forked tree) were solid. Cut up into logs they made 4 cartloads – nearly ½ cord (a true cord, not a face cord). Cherry is a very hard wood, not as dense as oak, but very difficult to cut through. I had to sharpen the chain 4 times. I was toying with the idea of working on the stump with the chain saw to make some sort of seat facing the pond, but seeing how difficult this wood is to cut, it seems like not such a good idea. Nice to know I’ve already got enough wood cut for next winter. This pic was taken before I cut up the forked section on the ground, which probably weighed about 500 pounds. My reward is on the picnic table.