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Greetings from the gardeners as we begin a new growing season. Spring is springing and not too fast which is to my liking. We have been busy pruning. The kiwis are done and the raspberries have commenced. This year we will definitely get a trellis up to make picking in the patch a lot easier. I have started on the apples and there is still some time before they completely wake up. This is one reason that I don’t want warm temperatures yet. If they wake up too early then there is more of a chance to get hit with a late frost.

Speaking of frost I am also happy that we are still getting cold at night. One of my favorite things to do in late winter/early spring is to frost seed clover into the winter grains. The wheat and rye were sown in the fall and overwinter quite easily. Indeed it is the only green thing about when all else is brown. All I have to do is broadcast the clover seed on that small green grass and the frost does the rest. The freeze-thaw action pulls the seed into the soil and then when it warms up it will germinate and survive until the grain is taken off sometime in July. At that point I look down and see beautiful red, white or crimson clover established and ready to take off. This great cover crop protects the soil and also feeds it fixing nitrogen from the air and putting it into the soil where we need it. All done on a cool day in March! So easy!

This is also the time of year to do fence maintenance. We have a lot of fencing to keep the deer from munching on everything. The electric fence is almost done and is working well. We still have the high tensile woven wire (box fence) to do in the big field. We are planning to do this on Saturday April 6 th from 10am to 1 pm. Mostly this consists of removing vegetation under the fence. It did not receive attention last year and needs to be dealt with before it gets out of hand. If you are so inclined show up and lend a hand! All we need is willing hands, with gloves, loppers if you have them and a good attitude! That’s all for now. Perhaps I’ll see some of you on the 6th!

–Farmer Mike