It’s spring! Officially! It has felt like spring here for a while now, but in the last week or so a real transformation has been occurring. Bugs of every kind are on the move, the swallows are back to make nests in the boxes we built them, wooly bear caterpillars are everywhere eating every green thing, the crows are flying sticks to and fro making a racket in their nest building mode, deciduous trees are starting to leaf out, evergreen trees are releasing huge yellow pollen plumes, and the frogs are CRAZY loud each night. CRAZY LIKE I LOVE IT. I LOVE SPRING!
Last week I planted fava beans. We fell in love with favas last year and decided we would grow at least as many, and hopefully a lot more, this year. I saved as much seed as I could, which wasn’t easy as we wanted to eat them all. I planted carrots, beets and cilantro as well. This year I splurged and also purchased a rare, heirloom black carrot (which is actually a deep, dark purple). It cost a ridiculous amount, relative to the number of seeds included, but I plan to grow them in the hoophouse (to avoid cross pollination) and grow some of my own seed. I am really passionate about growing heirloom seed, and growing and harvesting my own seed. I try to grow some of my own heirloom seed each year.
We also spotted a snake last week for the first time this year. I have a fantasy of snakes hanging out sunning on our porch with us and living in our hoophouse. They’re probably one of our best slug predators and one of the most unusual creatures to be around. They’re pretty shy though… Here it is trying to escape my rude interruption.
In order to make way for my new plantings I removed my aphid infested kale, which was kind of a bummer, but also a huge relief (there is plenty more). I usually spray down any aphid clusters with a solution of castile soap and water. Then I come back the next day and clip those parts away. This at least helps reduce the aphid population in our immediate area. I think most of my aphid issues so far this year are from new hatchings of eggs that overwintered.
That basket of kale above was salvaged from the plants I removed. We had a kale broccoli crustless quiche that night, with corn tortillas. That is most always a well received meal here.
Hope you all have a beautiful weekend.