Much has been happening out in the field and around the farm since the last update. Notably, we enjoyed (endured?) a large dump of snow in February and a lengthy cold snap. Not unusual for an interior winter, but it was for us. I actually really appreciated the clear and cold conditions, great for getting some of the pruning work done. The blueberries certainly didn’t mind those conditions either.
This year’s pruning program predictably took about twice as many hours as last year, and I figure that trend will continue for a few years yet as the blueberries grow to maturity. Some of the plants are so tall now I could actually stand up to do the pruning – a nice break for my knees!
The blueberry flower buds have burst open and the first leaves are starting to appear.
The changes are rapid and amazing with a hint of warmer weather.
Standard practice is to feed high bush blueberries three times in the growing season, starting in mid-April, then again mid-May, and finally June. We managed to get the south half of the field fed a couple of days ago, while the threat of another rainstorm loomed overhead. Every so often a breeze would pick up and we would get a nice misting of fish hydrolysate on our faces. Lovely.
This year I’m going to apply certified organic alfalfa to the blueberries, along finished compost, in addition to the liquid fish.
Steve’s just finished putting up a dandy potting shelter for me, out of last years’ market hut materials – ready for sowing some starts for the market garden. Now his attention is on water. The field system is flushed and ready and plans have begun for the installation of an irrigation system for the market garden. No rest!
Laurie, our new farmhand, is a great addition and most welcome extra set of hands. There's plenty to do!
And elsewhere about the place: robins are gathering nesting materials, the frogs have been raising a raucous since February, the big leaf maples are flowering and all kinds of bugs are waking up and running around. I’m pretty sure you could see the rhubarb growing too if you watched for just a couple of minutes.
The Big Leaf Maple