The 2011 garden is in full swing. We are planting every second that we can pull away from other tasks.
Of our 5 varieties of garlic, the only two that are really happy are Musick, and the stuff we saved from last year. The bulbs we bought in 2009 were raised in Dublin, NH. Given that Music is advertised as cold hardy, and that we just had our first real zone 4 winter in a decade, I think we have a correlation. The bulbils we bought seem to have survived ok, but we were warned it could take 2 years to get decent sized bulbs. I won’t decide till we eat some, but right now I’m leaning toward not replanting the Spanish Rocambole and the Red Thingamajig.
The onions are in. For some reason the chickens love to scratch in the onion bed. We really need a chicken-free garden. Miller Nurseries seems to have switched suppliers this year. The ones we got were drop shipped from Arizona rather than New York State. I’m a bit concerned that the size is all over the map, way less uniform than I’m used to. The leeks were more uniform, but that would be uniformly small. They did ship us more than we ordered, so someone may be aware of the issue. However, the Keene Agway sold onion plants this year for the first time, and they looked good. That could solve everything.
We have far too little finished compost this year, so we’re getting a truckload delivered from the Keene recycling center. It’s great looking stuff, although we’ve been warned that it needs lime and must be screened. We always screen our own stuff, so no big deal. The Keene compost is mostly leaves and left-over pumpkins from the Pumpkin Festival.
We have the first bits of cabbage, broccoli, Brussels spouts, celery, lettuce and carrots planted as well so far. Just enough carrots for the summer so far. The storage crop will go in in July. I’m thinking of the garlic bed, although that will be the third root crop in succession there, so maybe not, unless we thoroughly incorporate a bunch more compost.
In other news, the turkey in the hen house hatched three poults Monday and Tuesday. The other eggs were clearly bad. I’m wondering how the rest of the hatch will go. Randy and Dandy were definitely overworked this year, so there may be fertility issues. We will make sure to have only 10 hens per tom next year. As usual, I don’t know where most of the hens are setting, but we’re much less concerned now that we have the big white dogs. We also have several that haven’t started setting but I’m no longer finding eggs either. If they don’t start setting soon, they will be under suspicion of not laying …
We got our first hatch of goslings today, 7 of them. Goslings and lambs are tied for the cutest babies on the farm. Even the other setting geese came over to check them out. We have four more geese setting, which I’m figuring are the other three from 2008 and one from 2010. We must start banding. Lisa was quite impressed with herself when they let her hold and cuddle their babies.
Finally, we have four broody ducks (and a bunch of eggs in the incubator). Most domestic ducks don’t brood at all. We are thrilled. Ducklings are the filthiest little things I’ve ever seen, but we are really looking forward to not having to raise them in the house and instead let their mamas raise them.