Monday, May 14, 2018

Harvest Monday - 14 May 2018

With the first spring pickings, we can finally join the ranks of the cool kids of Harvest Monday!

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.

This was made by Larry Cooper, the blacksmith at Gulland Forge in North Carolina. I like that it has wooden handles; the metal-handled ones sold through Johnny's seemed burdensome. I'm now a convert to the no-till school of cultivation. The rototiller sits unloved in the barn.

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.