As you might expect, asparagus is our first crop. We had several harvests like this:
With two 12-foot rows, we should have had a lot more. But last year's biblical Plague of Voles destroyed many plants and probably damaged the rest. I really should replant the entire bed, but I didn't want to wait years for asparagus, so this weekend I filled in the missing plants with crowns purchased from the nursery. The new variety is "Sweet Purple," which I've never heard of, but it was all they had, so it will have to do!
I gave the chives a haircut, and The Kitchen Goddess dehydrated them.
We use a lot of chives, and I think the first spring cuttings are the most pungent and flavorful.
In other happenings this week, we finally had an opportunity to burn the "Witch Pole" of sheaved corn stalks. Here's what it looked like last fall:
Over the winter I added a lot of brush, leaves, and other detritus. So when I set it off it made a brief but very satisfying inferno:
Kind of creepy-looking.
With the corn patch now cleared, I was able to cultivate it, using my new favorite tool, the broadfork.
And this week I finished the Master Gardener Certification course through the University of New Hampshire's Cooperative Extension. I now begin my official volunteering duties to attain full certification. The course was very intense, but completely interesting. A lot of nice people, too.
I'm not a lover of the weeping flowering cherry tree that lives in front of the house. It's a bit too formal-looking for my taste. But this time of year it really does put on a show:
Thanks for reading, and thanks to Dave at Our Happy Acres for hosting Harvest Monday.
Asparagus is wonderful first harvest, but that's crazy about the voles. Ugh. Although, I have heard good things about purple asparagus.ReplyDelete
That's very interesting about the broad fork and you going no till. I've always found no till to be very alluring.
Thanks, Phuong. My Master Gardener class went into detail about the benefits of no-till, so I was convinced!Delete
Congratulations Master Gardener! I volunteered with the Santa Clara County MG's years ago and loved it and learned so much and had a great time doing it. I hope you find it as rewarding as I did.ReplyDelete
You have my sincere condolences about those damned destructive voles. They did a number on my corn last year and started in on the brassicas this year. Now it's the rats turn to take over. Sheesh, I hate rodents.
For the life of me I can't get chives to thrive. But the I'itoi onions are a good stand in so I cut their greens and dry them and use them like chives.
Thanks Michelle. I believe MG volunteering will be rewarding just as you say. I bet your onion greens are every bit as good as chives, and certainly bigger too.Delete
Congratulations on completing the Master Gardener courses - such an achievement! I toyed with getting certified as well but after attending a meeting, realized that it would simply add too much to my plate this year so I'll be putting that off for a while.ReplyDelete
What a shame about those voles especially with asparagus as it takes a couple of seasons to really get going, even with crowns. At least they didn't get all of them and you are still able to enjoy some asparagus until your new plantings are established.
And thanks for the idea re: dehydrating the chives - I have a nice thick patch of garlic chives that are ready for a haircut too :)
Thanks Margaret. MG is a commitment, but one I was ready for at this stage in my life. I have some garlic chives, but they have not done as well as the normal ones. Still, better every year!Delete
Oh I love purple asparagus, but I have had trouble getting mine started here at the new place. I have some green on their second year but only one purple shot up this year so far. It is more tender and sweet in my opinion. Everything looks beautiful and neat! Congratulations!ReplyDelete
Thanks Shawn Ann. Good to know about the purple asparagus.Delete
Let me add my voice to the chorus of those congratulating you on your MG status! Like Michelle, I volunteered with our local MG's for several years and it was a fun experience. Hopefully yours will be too! You mush have a lot of chives planted to be able to dehydrate them like that. I should try that some time since they would be handy to have when the fresh ones are gone.ReplyDelete
Thanks Dave. The chives are really only about a foot square, but very dense. Gives us all we need.Delete