With 2010 behind us, we at Elkstone Farm are taking what we learned last year and are ready to put that knowledge to work, and do it all over again! This year will continue to see a lot of the foundation of our farm being laid, building on what we accomplished last year: building soil, grading it, installing the fence, and planting fruit trees and shrubs, perennial vegetables and flowers.
With the Orchard behind the greenhouse and the fruit trees and shrubs around the Pond Garden planted out, we will likely put in the understory plants this year: perennial fruit, herbs, vegetables, flowers, and probably annuals too. We will continue to build the best garden soil we can by adding our composted sheep manure and the mulch that was made from trees felled on the property. Jeannie and I spread about 60 giant trash bags of leaves in the Pond Garden last fall, which will break down this winter and help to add some good organic matter to that compacted clayey soil.
In the greenhouse, we’re currently growing salad greens, herbs, beets, onions, carrots, and of course the exotics which are hanging in there through this cold, gray winter. I tried to be earlier with seeding our winter plants, but I found it so hard to pull productive summer tomatoes, cukes, basil, & peppers in order to get the winter greens growing well before the days got so short and cool that growth is snail- like in pace. Next year I won’t be such a pushover, and will yank those plants in early September! Our goal is to have summer plants, mainly tomatoes, producing earlier. This will not only help with our succession planting later in the season, but early tomatoes fetch a better price than those of mid summer, when the market is overflowing with them.
Meanwhile, the Caretaker House, newly dubbed Bo Hai, nears completion! It will be so nice to have a workspace out of the greenhouse.
Our newest team member, Henry, is so excited to get to work that he has started smiling.