Spring Garden #1
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Spring Garden #1

After returning from town errands and our homeschool Activity Day on Friday, we quickly got our family farm team together and planted Spring Garden #1.  Knowing that the soil was perfect for turning over and planting, and that heavy snow was predicted for tomorrow, we got right to work.

Cary and the kids grabbed shovels and started turning over the top 12" of the raised beds while I got the starts and seeds ready.  We had heavily dressed this garden with rabbit barn/vermiculture mulch 2 months ago, and the recent snows had broken down the dressing nicely in each wide row.  

Eddie and I then hoed each row, chopping up any large clumps, raked them fairly smooth, then created 3 shallow trenches across each width. Taryn, Jesse, and Madison planted together with Cary, while Eddie and Destiny helped me. We followed companion planting guidelines as we know that technique keeps down the insects, with the simbiotic relationship of the plants helping produce larger crops.

We planted a strawberry bed with two rows of 10 plants, then a row of spinach seeds down the middle.  By the time the spinach is harvested, the mother strawberry plants will be setting daughter plants, which we'll train to the empty center.

Cary and the little ones planted 4 rows of different onion types, flanked by carrots, lettuce, peas, radishes, celery, or kale.

In just one hour, we had 5 wide rows 20 feet long, planted, and ready to be covered in snow. Once the snow melts, the beds will be well watered, with the seeds germinating.  Cole crops can get a bit cold, and a snow blanket also insulates them. 

In a month when it is time for the first weeding, we'll be able to see the earthworms which came along in the dressing from the rabbitry vermiculture pits, wriggling in the warm soil - a sign of a healthy garden.  That also means the robins and meadowlarks will be out looking for them, with their sweet songs filling the spring air.

We'll plant again every two weeks from now through June, to have spring season cole crops ready in 45-60 days, and warm season summer crops by early July.  We'll eat most of the harvest fresh, then preserve the rest.  A fun family time of work and fellowship, and we are already tasting the home-grown veggies!

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