Our rain total from this system is currently at 2.10 inches. We can’t complain too much since we got about 99% of the garden in ahead of it and we didn’t see the 5+ inches that some parts of North Dakota did. Sadly, gone are the days when a rain day meant staying home from work and hanging out in PJs all day (Heather used to work on a landscaping crew and looked forward to days like this.) Now a rain day means a bit more work with extra checks on the animals to make sure they, and their feed are staying dry!
In addition to the extra work that a rain day brings, it was also a chick delivery day! Heather and Eva made an early trip to the post office to pick up 100 chicks so they could get situated into their indoor home. These puff balls will be indoors for 2-3 weeks depending on the weather. Then they will head outside into a portable shelter, allowing them to enjoy grass, sunshine and tasty bugs. Right now these chicks are adorable, but in about 8 weeks they will be delicious!
The main garden plot was finally free of snow and dry enough to till this past weekend! Heather’s dad is good enough to bring his tractor and tiller in the Spring to get us ready to plant. We are now just a couple of days shy of what is regarded as the ‘average last frost date’ in this area. If you ask the old timers, though, they will say that you aren’t really safe until Memorial Day. We never wait that long. We usually don’t wait as long as we did. If we could have dried that garden any faster, we certainly would have! One of the items on our to-do list for this fall is to move some dirt to get optimal drainage for next year.
Since we are expecting rain for the next 4 days, we decided to give-it-our-all this afternoon. Dave took the afternoon off of work and the two of us, or should I say the three of us, planted everything that still needed to get in the ground!
You’ll notice in the photos that we plant our peppers and tomatoes into black plastic. There are a few reasons for that. #1 The black plastic warms the soil and air around these heat loving plants. #2 It keeps the weeds at bay. #3 In the case of the tomatoes, it keeps soil from splashing up onto the plants reducing the chance of soil born diseases taking hold.
Finally, on the 5th of May, I did our first real planting of the year!
On Sunday, I made my first trip to Helen’s Country Greenhouse just outside of Minto to pick up some cole crops that I didn’t raise from seed: broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Kale is another in the same family that we have started in our seed cabinet. It sure feels good to have some ground planted!
For those of you who don’t know, Dave and I like to push the seasons! We have tomato seedlings that could go into the ground right now, if only our garden space wasn’t still so wet. I had marked on the farm calendar to have peas, spinach, radish, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and carrots in the ground about 3 weeks ago. Our garden still had snow piles 3 weeks ago. Needless to say we’ve been chomping at the bit this year and these photos make me feel a bit better about the season!