Summer Scheming

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My last post said that it felt like spring had started – and now it officially has.  We’ve had a couple cool, cloudy, rainy days though so I’m enjoying some time inside and trying to do paperwork.  There are tomatoes, cucumbers, and summer squash planted out in the field, along with potatoes and sunchokes which are still safely underground out of the elements.

I’ve got a much more complicated layout plan for the field than I did last year and am still going back and forth on what to plant where.  The bar counter is covered in tiny bits of paper and crayon color-coding that I shuffle around sometimes to come up with the cleverest, easiest-to-harvest, most logical arrangement.  Last year I went for a visually pleasing layout largely based on height, but this year will be more mixed together to create shade and wind breaks.  Harvest times are important, as many roots will be in the ground through the winter and others will be out by July and replanted.  Aesthetics matter too and I have some work to do on my landscape design skills.  Hopefully some of the ideas work out as envisioned and the rest will bloom where they’re planted and make a forest of color and food.

One thing I’m less concerned about this year is remembering where things are.  I learned that by the time I start the seeds, transplant them, weed, and generally worry over them, I know what’s where.  By the second week of picking zucchini, I know the individual plants.

While I spend every free daytime moment putting plants in the ground, Jeff is spending evenings planning the best summer cover crop blend.  We just had a soil test done and seem to be progressing well on improving the organic matter content.  Plenty of work to be done still though by those hard working legumes and grasses.  There are so many options depending on your location, time constraints, and goals, but it seems whichever we go with we will be reabsorbing far more carbon then we emit each year.  Saving the climate with tasty vegetables!

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