Friday, April 26, 2013

Springtime Changes

Welcome back to another edition of lost in the farmers market where we look into the nature of organic gardening and it’s practicality for self-sustainability. Today is somewhat of a belated double-post. As some of you may know there has quite a bit of busy times over at the test gardens as control of the property has passed to BL2 and by extension LITFM. This of course means that for the first time in history we will be doing tours during the summer and our first on-site Sustainable Neighbors crop mob will be occurring in a few weeks. 

This is the area targeted for the crop mob.
As you can see this patch of earth has lost a lot of its viable topsoil and is in need of some serious repair. Originally those tree roots were buried but compaction and erosion due to vehicle traffic has ruined this area and it is our ambitious goal to recover it with an innovative anti-erosion project. It is my hope that some of you sustainable neighbors in the Fayetteville area can join in on this project when the time comes. I digress on that, the shift on control of the property has had me personally tied up for two weeks straight as soon as the work load lessened it was like spring was showing me that there was light at the end of the tunnel so here is an entourage of spring color for all of you to enjoy.

These are Bird’s Foot Violets. I planted them two years ago and thought they had died. They bloomed for the first time this year.

This is the tiny azalea often seen in the mailbox garden at the front of the property, it was dug early last year and moved to the shady rock garden where it bloomed for the first time.

This is a set of irises given to me by a client who had some to spare during my first year of operations as BL2. They once bloomed as a bicolor, blue and white but have become this pure white. This is the second year they have bloomed.

As promised in an earlier episode, here is a picture of those pincushion flowers planted last year. They came into bloom quite heavily this spring.

The blue columbines awakened late but are making up for lost time as you can see here.

This Coral Bells was a salvaged plant as it was found dumped by the side of the road near one of my client’s houses. I cleaned it up and put in this three gallon nursery pot with some improved soil and it over wintered rather well.

The coral bells is not a part of the shady rock garden and is part of the failed 'Mint hill'.

While not colorful the White Ischia figs broke bud first and already are bearing the largest figs.

Last in the group is the new growth of the Fetterbush in the shady rock garden. For note this is a Leucothoe axillaris, which is not the same as the rainbow fetterbush.

This plant stands as a example of making sure to put the right plant in the right place as it did horribly for three years where it was and then in the shady rock garden it’s multiplied it’s size several times. Much like the azalea mentioned before it’s rewarded me with heavy blooms and in this case dramatic foliage color.

Needless to say spring is a marvelous time it is the renewal of ones own faith in nature and I have to report that the nest in my hanging pansy basket from a earlier post has occupants, at last sighting there were four little eggs in the nest and visual confirmation of some sort of tiny bird possibly a wren. It seems they like that sort of basket and so I’ll leave it in position from here on out.

That last bit aside as some of you may know there was no Urban Farm Day this year, it seems Sustainable Sandhills decided to let the concept go. The good news is that along with Sustainable neighbors I am now going to help man the booth at the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market which means the odd and exotic plants as well as copies of the book will be available through that venue. Now due to the odd winter and early spring weather my crops will be available in staggered fashion but if you stop by you can make reservations for items or ask about the status of stuff.

A close up of the bulblets expanding from the stem tips of an Egyptian or Tree Onion aka Allium proliferum. Sadly we are completely sold out of this plant for the time being though more may be available later in the year.
This weekend you can expect to see a LOT of tomato varieties, Angels Trumpet, Vietnamese Coriander, Chinese Foxglove, Flowering Ginger, Betony, Saint Johns Wort and whatever else looks ready to go and gets loaded on the truck on Friday evening! I can tell you this, it’s been a fantastic year for the crops and we went a little overboard with the seed so expect some varieties you may not have ever heard of.

That said the Fayetteville farmer’s market is located at the transportation museum in downtown Fayetteville and runs on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Sustainable Neighbors is present on Saturdays from 9 am through 1pm or the entire time the market is open. For note I will be keeping the same hours as sustainable neighbors so feel free to stop by and say hi. As a final note, next week the results of the soil test trials will be completed and available here on the blog so stay tuned for that info and as always folks keep ‘em growing.

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