Thursday, May 16, 2013

Voles, beans, and PAR Davies 5/15/13


There was a lot going on today and  we were quite productive. Our gardeners were G.A., Ann, Mary Elizabeth, Susan, John, Cathy and myself. We harvested just 10 lbs. of bits and pieces….kale, onions, strawberries, spinach, herbs and snow peas. Cathy weighed everything and made the delivery.

We replanted cantaloupe--Minnesota Midgets in containers and Charentais in the hugelkultur bed. We put cucumbers and  beans in Bed 21. The cucumbers are two extra long varieties, which will climb on tomato cages, and these are interplanted with bush beans. We also put more bush beans in Bed 2, which has tomatoes on one side. G.A. planted Seed Savers Exchange 'Sweet Fall' winter squash in Bed 10. I am considering putting a cover over this bed to keep the squash bugs off. Our other squash bed with the floating row has really taken off since last week when it looked a little sickly. Incidentally, last week this was fertilized with the Comfrey tea. I wonder….

Squash (yellow and zucchini) mounding up under the floating row cover.Vole trap is in the distance with the brick on top. More on this next week.
We noticed little tomatoes on the Tumbling Tom Yellows in the containers. We should be able to have a pretty good pea harvest next week. Everything looks quite good in spite of the increasing vole problem. Almost all of the beds are planted full now, except for the sweet potato bed. The cabbage and broccoli are finally heading up. When it is harvested, that will be four beds that will need something planted….any suggestions? Okra will replace the in-ground pea bed, and I had planned for several varieties of regular sized cucumbers for Bed 12 when the peas come out.

We got the irrigation tubes positioned correctly in the tomato beds, and none to soon because they are starting to fill the cages. The larger green bell peppers and tomatillos were caged. One of our blackberry bushes I believe did succumb to a vole. I tried fixing it and watering in, but I have my doubts. The other plant looks great. We added Comfrey tea to the blackberries and pear trees.

Fava beans are looking good!
The favas….these are supposed to taste really good, but involves a lot of work (see link below). I think this first crop will be a learning experience for the garden workers. Since we only have about a dozen plants, the harvest will be small, but enough for us to do a taste test to see if we want to grow more. They are way on up there for fixing nitrogen in the soil. A fall crop is said to be better than spring for our area. An interesting bean.

I'm sure I am missing something, but that is all I can think of for now.


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