As the field work continues the greenhouses are rapidly filling with seedling awaiting their mass exodus into the fields. Thousands of tomatoes and peppers fill the benches to near capacity; makes me wonder if we have room for everything. Planting this week will be onions and carrots in the field and melons in the greenhouse. And lots of "bumping" up. Bumping up is taking tiny seedlings and transplanting them into larger containers, usually planting flats. By picking out the best seedlings, we know we'll have a good stand -sort of like seeding heavy then thinning.
The field work continues thanks to cooperative weather. The plastic from last season has been pulled and now we are working on getting the ground ready for this year's crops. Compost and organic fertilizer has been applied to most fields and worked in. This year we're using some pelletized chicken manure on some of our outlying fields. It's relatively easy to apply and work in. The supply and price of compost makes me lean towards supplying at least some of our fields with other nutrient sources.
The new bird houses I installed a couple of weeks back have stirred much interest in the swallows' community. Most of them have attracted occupants as they get underway raising their young ones. I found that by staining the houses with a solid gray stain they readily move into them; otherwise it would often take a year for their interest to peak. I also face the houses either north or east to keep the hot rays of the summer sun from overheating them. I've got twelve new ones at work and a couple for my garden. We should have lots of swallows near the garden as there is a beaver bog close by. At Johnny's we have an irrigation pond to attract them.
I have yet to venture into my garden, other than dumping lots of piles of manure from my henhouses. Normally I'd be half done planting once the blackflies come out but I seem to be a little behind this year. I'd like to get it plowed before it gets much later in the season and at least get peas, onions and potatoes in. We've still got onions, carrots, potatoes and beets in storage from last year. I'm going to start some seedlings here at work this week for my home garden and transfer them to my greenhouse as soon as they're up. I think I'll start some summer squash and transplant them into large pots in the greenhouse so I can get a jump on the season
Although summer is definitely on its way, we still get nights cold enough to warrant starting a fire in the wood stove. On these nights we get together a pot of soft veggies from the root cellar and cook them down for the hens. They love them; potatoes are their favorite! We'll spend about a week feeding them out and they certainly love their "treats".
The fiddleheads are but a memory now. With the hot temps we had last week they are all a foot tall now. Let's see; we picked on Sunday last week, picked again on Thursday and by Sunday this week they've had it. Short season this year! I've still got half a five gallon bucket in the fridge I'm saving for pickling.
I'm headed out to the field, have a good week.