Come ON Spring! You can do this…

You can be as prepared and planned as you want, but Nature has its own personal sense of timing that doesn’t care if you planted your seeds already and now, they are stuck in trays waiting for snow to melt.

This is the VLOG version – Check it out and see what I’ve been up to!

My goodness it’s been a long and drawn-out finale of Wintery weather here in Northern California. I would have transplanted my Spring broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower starts by now and sown the carrots and peas in the field, if were not for this tail end snow that keeps setting us back.

take a chance & plant more seeds

Oh well, it’s not for me to orchestrate the nuances of seasonal shift. I started a new set of seeds that will be nice and ready by the time the weather turns around. I’m not sure if it’s too late to start brassica varieties, but I’m willing to take a chance and see what happens (my number one gardening strategy!). I started more peppers and tomatoes in the seed germination cabinet, also I started kale, lettuce, and beets in soil blocked trays inside the greenhouse. I’m ready…being patiently prepared.

lettuce starts
Lettuce Seedlings
machinery woes

It seems like every year there is a major machinery setback, more specifically it’s the rototiller that keeps failing. We bought an old used one from Craigslist a couple years ago and it has done moderately okay, but never was able to run very efficiently or smoothly. Finally, it quit, and we ended up replacing the engine with a new Honda one and now it runs beautifully.

The Rototiller Lives!
organization & idealism

Keeping your gardening tools cared for and maintained will save you a lot of money and headaches. I cannot tell you how much time I spend looking for tools that are left who knows where out in the field or spread out over the property somewhere. It’s frustrating and we all do it. Except for you amazing people who put everything away right after you use it, you’re an anomaly.

We are getting more organized this year. Technically, we’re still recovering from the Slater Fire of 2020, so things are still a bit tossed. We need a tool shed with space for a big planting table under a shade structure. Shelves for small equipment, sprayer rigs, irrigation parts, sprinklers and such. Bins with clasped lids for amendments and fertilizers. Compost tea set up with all the ingredients and supplies organized into a shelf. Just dreaming here….

AND we need to build rabbit housing.

AND we need to build a solar dehydrator.

AND we need to fix our field fencing so we can get sheep.

AND…..I would love to get set up for a milk cow again.

I truly miss the raw milk, so delicious and healthy!

Anyway, don’t get carried away and frustrated with your process of bringing ideas into reality. Not only does it take time and materials, but it also requires your dedication and determination to produce something with meaning and value in your life. Be patient.

Get help from people who want to learn.
Learn from people who need help.
Helping hands
what is the priority?

Really though, we need to be practical and prioritize our plans. For example, fixing the rototiller was the number one priority because without tilling the field, nothing get’s done on time or correctly. Yes, I’d rather go with a “no-till” method and lean into a more biodynamic system that doesn’t require tilling or store-bought amendments, but it takes time to build up the infrastructure, resources, and organic matter to cover a large production farm.

water is lifeblood

The next priority is to sort out the water. We have two wells and a spring, which is great, but our best water source is coming from the well that has a broken pump. We can use spring water for now, but this is a major factor come Summertime. Better to resolve the problem at the start of the season and rest assured there will be no failures in the water supply chain.

Remember the rule about watering?

No hand watering or you may as well be a patio gardener, not a farmer.

watering can and flowers
presicion planning & plotting

Water supply chain is one thing, and irrigation plotting is another. After we get everything tilled, I bring in my expert husband who specializes in measurements and precision, he is after all a master craftsman builder. It drives him nuts when the rows are not properly spaced or if they are not perfectly straight. Could be a little “OCD”, but I do find it to be more pleasing when planting areas are balanced with the right spacing between plants. It also makes the water lines lay out correctly and makes for ease in harvesting.

At this time, we are also making decisions about what plants are going where and forecasting plans into the fall plotting as well. After aligning the spacing between rows and plants correctly, we amend the planting rows and holes according to what crops are going in each section.

fermented foods

I still have sauerkraut, beet, been and cauliflower ferments from last spring and summer. They still taste amazing and vibrant. This is actually kind of mind blowing. As far as food preservation goes, this fermentation thing takes the cake. I know, I keep raving about it, but seriously, I want to play around with the recipes and techniques more this year and share it with you.

fermented beets

Here is a new concept to me, or I heard of it, then forgot about it until I came across this article about the Sun’s effect on microbes (article link). Or here is the YouTube video from Ben Davidson at Suspicious Observers. Rabbit hole warning, check out electro-gardening. This isn’t new technology, probably ancient. As an Electric Health Facilitator, this subject is fascinating.

“Electroculture is a group of techniques that uses electricity and magnetism to assist plant growth. Plants are sensitive to electricity and magnetism. Improved plant growth, quality and increased yields, are some of the noticeable effects. The technology can also be used to protect plants from pests and diseases.”
Thanks for reading & happy spring!
Hands in the soil
Shauna Mayfield

One Comment Add yours

  1. Yes
    This is a great article about the challenges and joys of gardening. It’s inspiring to see the author’s dedication and passion for their craft, as well as their willingness to try new things like electroculture. Happy spring indeed!
    Live Free Offgrid

    Liked by 1 person

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