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May 11 Field Update - Flurries Can't Stop Us

It certainly has been a weirdly cold spring in southern Ontario in 2020. Down here in Norfolk County, we're lucky to be in a bit of a "banana belt" compared to Hamilton and the GTA - our flurries over the past few days (May 8-11) haven't accumulated, but just melted instead.

Indeed, the ground is still well above freezing, so we've still been going ahead with preparing areas of the field for late-May to June plantings, and indeed have still been planting spring crops. As described in some detail in our Gardening Advice post from last week ( lots of the crops we grow are cold hardy, and we have been planting them since April 3.

Here you can see some lettuce we planted around April 8th, which has put on some growth thanks to fabric row cover which provides a few degrees of temperature gain:

And here you can see similar results from cabbage planted around the same time:

Meanwhile our garlic is looking great right now (though we need to run a hoe through that grass between the rows). Even our kids are excited for garlic scapes in a few weeks.

Something we're really happy about is how well our permaculture plantings from last fall are doing. The currants and gooseberries are flowering and the gojiberries are leafing out. And some of the fruit trees we started from seed have emerged. Now to wait 5-15 years to see what the fruit is like (since planting from seed is a gamble with a less than 5% chance of something yummy, but a 100% chance for rootstock for grating, and a chance for cider or jelly ingredients):

Meanwhile, with all this farm work going on, it's hard to take time to appreciate the bit of wild space we are stewards of. We have been pleasantly surprised to learn we have trilliums, trout lilies, bloodroot, jack-in-the-pulpit in our little half-acre bit of ravine, on top of the skunk cabbage we already knew about last fall.

Also check out our video on social media of a killdeer (ground-nesting bird) defending it's nest in our backyard herb garden. We are going to give it plenty of space over the next weeks/months to be able to raise it's young.

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