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Each year when I open the farm, I start checking for asparagus. Usually, there’s nothing, just old stalks from the last year. Then, as soon as I forget to check for a week or two, suddenly it shoots up, and I feel like I missed it. Luckly, the shoots keep coming for a few more weeks.

This past weekend we put in the garden. It’s a lot smaller than in previous years. But that’s good for right now. After tilling it up, I lined the perimeter with flakes of old hay I found in the barn. (That’s Mack grazing in the background, and Sprout hard at work in the front.)

I just picked up Eva from her last day of her first year of college (whoo-hoo!). She is helping to untangle the fence here. It’s an electric fence, but I probably won’t turn it on since it’s really for Mack and he doesn’t challenge it much. If I didn’t have it up, though, at night he’d find his way in the garden, poop in it (not so bad) and trample all the plants (bad). One year he stepped on a bunch of beautiful cantaloup. I think he likes the feeling of garden-fresh cantaloup popping under his feet. (Sprout still hard at work.)

Yay! The hard part is done! Good work, Eva!!

I haven’t had a garden for a couple of years, and this year I found these little volunteers. I think they are cantaloup seeds, from popped cantaloups. I’m going to leave them. They were so perfectly spaced, that I think they are a gift from the garden gods. I’m an optimist.

This is called “flying by the seat of your pants gardening”. (sounds so adventurous, and a little dangerous, doesn’t it?) I wanted to plant cucumbers from seed, but of course left the seeds back home (“in the city” as we used to say, when 80 miles felt like a huge distance). But, I found these seeds in the shed. They are, as you see, from 2014. I am so organized, I labeled them! Another experiment. I sowed them thick, so if the germination is really like 20%, I’ll still be good. I’ll check in a week or two and if there is no germination, I do have my new pack. I’m covered.

After putting in plants, I mulched the entire thing with flakes of good moldy hay. This is a shot of the whole thing, very professionally taken with my big old shadow right in the middle. My hips are not that big.

Oh, look who’s awake!? “Can I help?” she says.

“No”, I say. “Go back to sleep. Even better, find some manure to roll in. You know you want it.”

“Yes, ma’am!” Sprout is so obedient.