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Monday, April 15, 2013

EatWell Natural Farm Week 4

Mind your Ps. Pear, Peach and Plum Blossoms

Ok. This week has me thoroughly confused. Two weeks ago it was snowing and this week it was 87 degrees. What? Is this normal Maryland? Oh well. It doesn't matter. Some beautiful things are happening here at the farm right now. All of the trees I planted last week have new growth on them and most of them have blossoms. The berries and grapes too!
Muscadine with new leaves
Peach Tree

A Fig!!!

Grape Leaves

Rhubarb seed head, looks like cauliflower

 The Rhubarb keep growing seed stalks. I cut off about 6 more this week. It grows so fast. The leaves are getting huge. We should be able to harvest a few stalks this week and hopefully they will be in the EatWell Restaurants soon.

Rhubarb Leaves getting Huge

Also, the Rhubarb crowns that we planted last week are just starting to come up. I have walked past them every day and just this morning I saw the ground being pushed up. I brushed a little bit of soil aside and look at what I found...

Rhubarb Crown Emerging
The first seeds I planted at the farm were shelling peas. With the rain and all the sunshine they are coming up nicely and should be grabbing hold of the trellis in no time.
Shelling Peas

Do you remember the spinach that the Easter Bunny planted for us on Easter Sunday? Well it has just formed its first true leaves. The first two leaves (the long skinny ones) are the cotyledons. They are present in the seed prior to germination and are photosynthetic. So, when the seed gets the right conditions, temperature and moisture, it sends out the cotyledons. They act as the solar panels that collect energy for the plant to form its true leaves which will have the characteristics of the plant. That is why the two sets of leaves look so different. 

Blueberry Blossoms

Mint Galore

The very first Asparagus of the Spring

And, the Asparagus has appeared! Even the crowns that we plants two weeks ago are coming up.

The crowns that we just planted are sending up shoots. Here is a comparison of this year's planting vs last year. The skinny shoots is from this year. We will not harvest these. They will grow tall and ferny and collect sunlight which will be stored as energy in the roots and crown and next year the shoots will look more like the ones in the second photo. 

Last year's crowns
This year's crowns

Also, all of the seeds I have planted are starting to come up. This picture looks like I'm standing in front of an empty field but behind me are several varieties of Turnips, Radishes, Peas and Spinach that are just breaking through. In a few weeks that field will be all green and I'll post a comparison shot. 

A woman out standing in her field (thanks Cynthia)

Purple Deadnettle

Oh weeds. Here is a close up of one of our current weed culprits. This is the Purple Deadnettle and unlike its name suggests, it is very much alive and well.

Fire Blight :(

Sunday I took a walk around the orchard and noticed that one of the Pear trees had some black blossoms. I had my suspicions so I took a picture and did some research. I'm pretty sure this is Fire Blight. It is a contagious disease that is spread by polinators. The infection occurs at the blossom and moves through the tree from there. The only cure is to cut off the infected parts of the tree. So, I went out with my shears and some disinfectant and cut about 6 inches below each area where I saw blackened leaves or blossoms. Between each cut I disinfected the shears. I removed the infected wood from the area. This should take care of it for now but I will have to watch it closely. I did not see any signs of disease on any other trees but I will be watching them.

Meet the new EatWell Farm Truck.

 Eating Well

 I couldn't resist. We can harvest very sparingly from last year's Asparagus planting so I took 3 spears and had them for dinner over risotto with some tomatoes I canned last summer. It was so fresh and so sweet. I am so sorry I can't share it yet. Please be patient EatWell patrons. Farm Fresh Asparagus for the restaurants is coming soon and it will be worth the wait.

Puddy Time

Apparently watching me work is exhausting

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