Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fava flowers and special "harvest"

I thought you might like to see what a fava flower looks like. The few plants that survived the winter winds while frozen solid now are trying to deal with the slightly warmer but no less damaging winds of today. I would love to harvest at least a few fava beans from this first attempt, but whether that happens remains to be seen. I have decided to pull out the winter brocolli plants, as they never really developed any size, and the small shoots that I have been able to harvest aren't worth the garden space. Next time I will use transplants and get them in on time, and will use a standard variety instead of this multiple shoot variety. The peas I planted last weekend have not yet germinated. I was gone most of the week, and I hope they did not dry out before Thursday's rain. I love to see the first big fat pea plants begin to emerge in the late winter! This is a slow time in the garden. I need to get my soil tests taken and mailed in, and I need to incorporate some blood meal for slow nitrogen release when the spring plants begin growing.

Although I did harvest and eat some wonderful rhutabagas yesterday, my best harvest was a 5 gallon bucket of wood shaving mixed with chicken manure from the mini coop. I look forward to eggs, but really am most thrilled to have this amazing organic fertilizer. I probably will compost it for a while before I use it as fertilizer, although I may try spreading a thin layer under some established trees (but not too close to the trunk). I hope I don't burn them with this rich material, but I truly want to see if I can find a way to use it directly in some carefully chosen situations. The photo shows Hilda out in the run, Lou coming down the chicken ladder, and if you look really closely, Pauline up in the house standing on the roost.