Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Oh, It's Raining Again!
Leeks and cabbage growing in cold frame.
Kale and onions hardening off.
Kale and cabbage doing their thing under the protection of a storm door screen.
Yes, we just love this ducky weather here in Wisconsin. We love it only in comparison with the thought of more snow.
Plants in the cold frame and under the storm door screen look good, even with the torrential rain of this morning's wee hours.
The ditch out front had water about a foot deep flowing through it early this morning. The village powers that be (which as I sit on the village board, probably includes me) feel that the best way to control run-off is with extensive ditching project. In the heart of our village we actually have sidewalks on one side of the street(this is a hotly-contested issue here in town). That is the side of the street where our village maintenance will also site a ditch if they feel your block needs one (or if the block next to you needs one).
My village is fortunately sited in an area of springs, fortunately and unfortunately. We have a healthy wetlands south of town (according to the WI DNR). We have a spring-fed pond with a dam at the northwest end of town. We are so lucky in the purity of thes waters that our Mill Pond and the streams that flow out of it are classified as Class A trout streams. This is a big deal. We sit on the headwaters of these streams. Such a big deal, that the Wisconsin DNR sited their cold and cool waters fish hatcheries here.
And while the ducks may be loving this, the Wisconsin farmers are not. I saw my first tilled field yesterday. According to the WI DATCP, only 7% of fields statewide are tilled, compared to 56% last year and a running 5-year average of 28%. I also heard food prices have gone up 10% since the beginning of the year, which probably does not include the 40 cent hike in flour prices I saw in the grocery store yesterday ( an approximately 30% hike!).
So while a lot of my growing thoughts have been to doing a better job of ensuring my extended family's food security this year, I have been thinking of things that just exist to cheer me up. One of those is luxuriously planted pots overflowing with flowers. Nothing says that to me (without driving me crazy keeping it watered!) like 'Dragonwing' begonias and the 'Diamond Frost' euphorbia planted in hanging baskets. I overwintered my main pot of 'Dragonwings' and the euphorbia. I have taken one round of cuttings, and today with the rain, will do another.
My favorite pink 'Dragonwings' begonia.
Also, I may have mentioned I have this huge tuber/corm of begonia 'Bonfire', maybe 10" across. I took a knife to it and cut it into 3 sections, retaining sprouting eyes at the base of previous years stem growth in each section, and planted each.
Garden update: The first of my French breakfast radishes planted before the April 19 snow storm are coming up. Also, not sure, but the peas planted outdoors may be sprouting as well. Spinach transplants transplanted outdoors before the snow are starting to bulk up. I also divided off three large clumps of rhubarb from my mother of all rhubarb plants. Those will go into my sister-in-laws family garden, which we are working on this year.