Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spring Planting Update

I'm sitting out in the shop with the dog and a child monitor as I type this, while a mid-winter jicker squalls at the roof and windows. The odd part of this equation is that it's mid-May, and winter appeared to depart quite a few weeks of 85 degree days ago. Over two and a half inches of rain have fallen in the last two days, interrupting our third planting of onions and a near-perfect spring for roses, and bringing our yearly rain total to 53.15". That said, the day off is more than welcome. We've been on quite a tear since the last update to grace this page.

To recap, following January and February's auspicious weather, the entire west coast was blasted by an arctic belch of biblical proportions. Most fortunately, our avocados were still tight in bud and escaped unscathed. There was minor tip burn on the new flush of the citrus, grapes and kiwis, but the pomegranates truly took it in the teeth. Their three week old leaves were cooked to a crisp by the frost. Incredibly, they took it in stride, leafed out again and are back online and cranking. Needless to say, it was difficult to witness.

What followed was an inclement March, punctuated by a few weeks of deluge: the truly soggy, landslide-inducing type (no slides on our property, but Mountain Charlie Road was a mess where the County undercut its banks last summer in the name of clearing ditches). April brought enough dry weather for us to weed, fertilize, re-mulch and mow the kiwis, pomegranates, citrus, avocados, persimmons, and olives and to begin incorporating cover crop and planting. Somewhere in there quite a bit of forestry was accomplished, replete with massive amounts of invasive brush removal and more than a few ripping burn piles. We also had a wonderful, pizza-stuffed Easter egg dyeing/hunting party with Estelle's friends from Santa Cruz and her school in Los Gatos. All photos from that day featured above were taken by our friend Monique.

May has seen the rest of the cover crop incorporated, kale, basil, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, tomatillos and countless onions planted. We have also sown carrots, scarlet runner beans, "edamame" soy beans and teddy bear sunflowers. When this rain lets up, the final beds of onions and potatoes will go in, as well as a plethora of winter squashes and pumpkins. We've had a strong flush from the citrus, avocados, kiwis, table grapes and roses. We also have some very exciting news in the pipeline as far as new outlets this season, but mum's the word until the details are hashed out and brochures assembled. P.S. Chloe just had 4 kittens!

Thanks for tuning in and happy planting!