Thursday, May 03, 2012

Wow! We wait and wait for nice days to get the outside world back in order, the garden world, and our poor unconditioned bodies are so laid back and weak that we have to take repeated breaks to get the work done. Yesterday, I was doing some heavy-duty shoveling and at 9:00 last night my heart rate was still putt-putting along at 92 bpm. My blood pressure was great and my cholesterol level must be dissolving by the minute. Just see if one workout at the fitness center can accomplish that?! Unlike working out on treadmills and weight machines, I’ll have a beautiful garden to show for it; and with any luck, a svelte profile.

The herb garden made it through the winter and is coming back in full force. With one exception: the lemon balm. I had such a nice patch last year but apparently made a big mistake a month ago. There was so much foliage lingering from last year that I opted to burn off the brown herbal vegetation. The tarragon didn’t care. The mint didn’t mine. The oregano was optimistic. But the lemon balm is just not coming back. The thyme is a little iffy, too, and I didn’t burn that area. Maybe I’m not to be blamed. Maybe it was this goofy winter we had, the warm March and the cold April. The lemon balm vinegar we have in stock right now might be a very rare vintage.

The straw bale garden of last summer was a success so we’ll do another one this year. We have 20 bales lined up in four rows. They’re in the process of being conditioned right now and we’ll plant in another week. I’ve also plotted two special areas for giant pumpkin growing.

We’ve already had fresh rhubarb crisp and will have fresh asparagus tonight. We’ve had ramps from the woods, multiplier onions and chives, and the garlic is up and looking great.

I pruned the grape vines last week. They’re just beginning to bud. Blossoms are a long way off on them but the plums have finished blooming while the cherries and apples are humming with bees.

Ron has had several days of harvesting and bottling vinegar. We’ve had trouble keeping up with demand for the sampler packs so he’s bottled more in the 50 ml size. Frequent visitors have kept him busy both in requests for vinegar as well as wine-making supplies. He has several wine classes underway. Folks come here to start their wines, return for racking off and a few weeks down the road, again, for bottling. That’s working really well and with the fruit season starting, there will be abundant material to work with.

A visitor this morning, noting our dandelion dotted lawn, asked if we make dandelion wine. No, still haven’t though it wouldn’t take too long to gather enough for a small batch.

Time to get back outside. A storm rolled through this morning leaving the soil nice for working. It’s clouding up again so should be cooler to work in.