Well, not quite, but the fast garden life has definitely been slowed the past two days with the wet weather. And we definitely appreciated that moisture!!! I had been watering to keep the seedlings growing. Their roots are still so shallow that they were starting to get dry in that top inch or two of soil. We have plenty of subsoil moisture when the roots get bigger. We got just over a half inch here at the farm:
Since the gardens look much the same as last week, I thought I'd share a fruit update! The past two years we have made a real effort to develop fruit production here on the farm. Here are the results of some of our efforts:
This is one of the 25 Juneberry shrubs we planted this spring. They have really taken off and some of them are blooming! WE might even get a little fruit from them this year. We're hoping for fruit next year, and definitely in 2011! My parents didn't like Juneberries, so we never used them. But many friends are Juneberry fanatics and there seems to be a big demand around here. I'm told they make excellent jam and pie!
Here is a Red Lake Currant bush that we planted in 2007. This year it flowered for the first time and you can see the tiny berries start to form. Like the Juneberries, we expect a good harvest in 2011. Currants are one of those ingredients that they use on the cooking shows that you can't find anywhere (like capers). Currant jelly is supposed to be excellent.
Here are my beloved strawberries! We had an average wintering over this past year and my little patch is growing. I think next spring I will buy 500 plants or so and really kick start the strawberry production. But for this year, we have a few plants that are blooming so there will be a handful of berries to sample.
These are chokecherry blossoms. Last year you couldn't find a chokecherry in ND! At least not from any of my sources. We have quite a stand of chokecherry trees here and two years ago I had plenty of berries to make jam and syrup from. Last summer we had none, my parents had none, my friends had none. This year the trees are covered in blooms and I have high hopes for a large harvest!
We also added 10 Nanking Cherry trees to the "orchard" this spring. All 10 have leafed out beautifully and are taking off! Again, we anticipate a good fruit set in 2011.
Lastly, I planted some rhubarb corms (roots) and they are just starting to get green. We won't be able to eat any of them this year, but next spring we can harvest them lightly. And in 2011, watch out! We may have to have a rhubarb festival! I made an upside-down rhubarb cake with some rhubarb my parents shared with us. I ate 3/4 of the cake, it was that good! I did freeze the remainder of the rhubarb so sometime this winter I can bake another cake and relive spring all over again!
That's the fruit update for this year. As you can see, 2011 is the big year for fruit! I hope to add raspberries next year, I just need to decide the optimal spot to put them! My goal is to offer a fruit share in addition to the vegetable share in our CSA. Speaking of the veggies, we'll catch up with them next week!