Planting Season: the Wheel Turns

A bed of haskaps between the Potato Patch and the horses' training corral, with the wide open eastern sky clear but dappled with high cumulus clouds that harbinger rain in the coming night.

A bed of haskaps between the Potato Patch and the horses’ training corral, with the wide open eastern sky clear but dappled with high cumulus clouds that harbinger rain in the coming night.

Planting season has come, and last night it was announced by gentle showers that fell till dawn. Daphne and I love the spring showers, and we threw sleeping bags and a comfortable quilt out on the covered deck at the edge of the Elfwood and slept there through the night, serenaded by the falling rain, the wind soughing in the evergreens, and the secret songs of the wind chimes.

Digging the potato beds.  A hard, tedious but essential step on the road toward wholesome food.

Digging the potato beds. A hard, tedious but essential step on the road toward wholesome food.

We met dawn with farm fresh eggs and bacon, hot Russian Earl Grey and cold chaga tea. Then I set off into the forest to gather our dinner while Daphne and the girls began dividing the beds in the New Garden and the Potato Patch. Throughout the day, a plethora of chores presented: cutting the grass around the Raised Gardens, weeding the haskap bed, pruning and weeding the gooseberry bushes and hoeing and planting zucchini hill.

When the girls had finished their part of the chores, I planted hundreds of onions and leeks in beds 2 and 3 of the New Garden, and dozens of summer, sweet and winter squash in bed 1. Then Natalia and I teamed up in the very last of the twilight to sow Irish potatoes (which make the best new potatoes, ready in about 8 weeks) in half the Potato Patch.

Dinner was courtesy of Arielle: a fine soup of cattail hearts, last year’s Swiss chard, last year’s Yukon Gold potatoes, and chicken stock, along with homemade biscuits, and a huge decanter of cold dandelion tea, which I made from 40 large blossoms I picked at noon when they are wide open. The tea was lovely, but I must remember to harvest and steep a little wood sorrel (shamrock) into it next time, to give it a bit of a zesty zip!

Natalia weights down makeshift ground cover with stones to shield if from the spring wind.

Natalia weights down makeshift ground cover with stones to shield if from the spring wind.

Dandelion tea steeping in the shade.

Dandelion tea steeping in the shade.

Now it is 9:55 p.m., about sixteen hours since we woke up and began our day, the second serious day of the planting season. It will be a few days till we are done yet. The gardens are huge and the tasks cannot wait. It is a good day upon this turn of the Wheel.

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