Thursday, January 30, 2014

A dead time of year

Plowed Field. Oil on canvas, 2014
I'm yearning for spring, even though this winter has been exceptionally mild and particularly rainy. I don't think many of the fruit trees, not to mention the blueberries, will hit their "chill hour" requirements before spring comes.

I don't really mind, though, because the lack of harsh overnight lows has been very good for my citrus. Even the papaya trees are coming through this year. Though they're quite frost-burned, their trunks are still solid and green.

I have a feeling that this year will be the one where the food forest really springs into action.

Thus far we've had the occasional fig or kumquat, plus a handful of blueberries or blackberries now and again. Our main food supply has come from our annual garden beds. As time goes on and my perennials mature, that should shift. Some of the trees will take a long time, like the pecans and chestnuts... but others are now over my head, like the loquats and my black cherry tree.

Thanks to the addition of lots and lots of mulch from a local tree company, things are looking up for the front yard.

This leads me to another interesting experiment. I got a bunch of green potatoes from some boxes of discarded produce and threw them around the food forest and mulched over them. I'm wondering how well they're going to do on hard ground beneath 6-12" of newly shredded mulch. Since the seed stock and the mulch were free I don't have anything to lose. Some of them are popping up already.

If this works, I may just dump all my potatoes under mulch next year, since I wasn't all that thrilled with last year's harvest.

Right now there are a million projects I need to work on... but somehow, when it's 50 degrees and rainy, they just don't get done.

Maybe tomorrow...


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