It’s May long weekend and there is snow on the ground. May long weekend has always been unpredictable weather wise, and yet it marks the beginning of the gardening season – as traditional wisdom has it. It’s the first weekend you can start to think about putting your bedding plants in the ground, with truly frost sensitive things waiting until the first or second week of June.
May long weekend is fairly early this year. Our average last frost date is actually next weekend – the 25th or 26th of May. So our bedding plants are safe and sound at Room to Grow greenhouse, or in the windows of our homes.
Seeds, on the other hand, are in. We planted out our first round of beets, radishes, turnips, tatsoi, arugula, lettuces, peas, carrots, and parsnips over the last two weeks. Seed potatoes and onion sets are also in the soil. And so far, most of those things have germinated. They’re all plants that can handle a bit of cold weather. But a dusting of snow – we’ll have to see. All but the peas, potatoes and onions are tucked in under a blanket of row cover to hold in the heat. But was there enough wind to throw it off? Is the blanket of snow heavy enough to turn the cover into a giant crushing machine? These are the things we have to worry about in weather like this. We have been at more than just planting this spring.
On Friday we played host to a high school group on choir retreat at CMU. The sun was shining, but the soil was soggy from the Wednesday/Thursday rain. So instead of helping us with planting, we spent the time learning about food systems with an activity from USC Canada. If you’re looking for resources for teaching your family about food and seed security check out their website, they have some really great activities, printouts and suggestions for all ages.
We are also planting an orchard this year! We have about 20 apple trees of various varieties to plant out around the farm. It really does make us feel more established planting trees. With a vegetable farm you know if everyone suddenly walks away, within one year you can sew it all back to grass. But with trees you really begin making a more permanent connection to the land. We started to feel that a bit last year when we put in a new fence, so our levels of commitment to this place continue to increase. It feels good, it feels…settled. And we’re so excited to add them to shares, maybe press some into cider – oh the options. Big thanks to Canadian Mennonite University and Friends of Gardens Manitoba for helping out with the trees, through donation and super affordable pricing.
We do still have shares for sale – if you or someone you know are still looking for your CSA hook-up for this year. Find out more here.
One thing we can count on is that summer is coming, and we still have plants to put in. So stay tuned for opportunities to plant with us. Coming soon.