Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I'm Back

I've taken a much needed break from the blogging after the April marathon! And its been an amazing week. I've worked a ton in the veggie garden, planted peppers, okra, beans, squash, melons and cukes. Weeded, watered and generally tidied the place right up- its looking pretty fantastic out there if I do say so myself.

We are still picking and eating lots of asparagus and now the sugar snaps are starting to come on, yumm. The greens are going to town as well and we've been eating spinach, chard, kale, and tatsoi. We've been harvesting leeks to go along with everything else. It's stir fry season.

Speaking of stir-fry- a major project this week- mostly done by good sir D- was to plug about 20 logs with 1000 plugs of shitake mushroom spore. We've done it once before and it was really worthwhile, as we have had a semi-steady stream of shitakes for about 4 years. The old logs had played out though so it was time to start some fresh.

It's work getting this done, gathering the logs, which should be oak and about 6 inches across and freshly cut before the tree leafs out so they aren't too sappy inside. Then you have to drill holes in a diamond pattern all around the log, pound in the wooden plugs that are inoculated with the spore and cover each hole with wax. It took probably 10 hours or more from start to finish over several sessions- but- in about 6-8 months they should start to produce and continue on for 4-5 years. It's kind of like planting the asparagus bed, lots of work up front for lots of bounty later.

D also finished building the monster rose arbor he'd been working on for awhile on the west side of the house and the two of us with ladders managed to arrange the "New Dawn" rose, whose seriously thorny vines were trailing along the ground for 15 feet, up onto the trellis and make it look halfway decent. It will be a while, but I think it will fill in and I want to add some clematis to the mix. The rose is covered with buds so we got it up there just in time.

Tonight while on our garden tour, D spotted a baby chickadee that had fallen out of the nest pot hanging in the Japanese maple. He picked it up and tried to put it back in and it squealed and jumped back out. After a bit of a scramble through the flower bed he caught it again and managed to get it back inside where this time it stayed. In a minute the mom was at the house, squawking. They'll be fledging soon but this one was just a little bit too tiny yet, and incredibly cute.

Also in the birding world we had a Rose-breasted Grosbeak at the feeder Monday night and Tuesday morning, chowing down and letting us take long looks, D took a bunch of pictures, I'll try to post one this week. Also had the first scarlet tanager in the yard this week, the summer tanager has been seen and heard regularly and black-throated blue warblers are in the woods. Otherwise it seems it's been a very slow migration this year with out many sightings of the more exciting passerines. Not sure if its the weather or some greater cosmic or environmental shift, hopefully not the latter.

In other news, the strawberries have been excellent, picking about a pint a day for the last 10 days, last night we guilded the lily when D ran out to Maple View for some vanilla ice cream- MMMM Good.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Wow, I've never heard of someone planting (if that is the right word?) mushroom spores - how cool! We're having a mushroom recipe contest right now and the winner will be mailed 2 lbs. of fresh, Morel mushrooms. If you have a favorite recipe, please submit it to our blog at