It was a busy weekend. It started with a jaunt up to Brookings Thursday morning to collect M, then back to plant some peas and check out the river. We visited the Vermillion River throughout the weekend to check on the crest and subsiding both at the farm and down at Cotton Park.
We also made cheese for the first time. I’m glad I got two gallons of that fresh raw goats milk because I messed up the first batch, not having the idea of a “clean break” firm in my mind
Get it? “Firm” in my mind?
That’s my first cheesemaker joke besides all the “cutting the cheese” jokes circulating around the house this weekend.
And tonight we ate some of that cheese on a quick pasta dish I whipped up close to nightfall: organic linguine with my own frozen broccoli, dried tomatoes, and basil, plus a few cloves of Patti’s garlic and a store-bought organic onion. It was good. And squeaky. It made me giggle a little.
Another project completed yesterday turned out to reveal my first major setback of the garden season: I cut my saved fingerling potatoes for planting, and by this morning it was fairly clear that many of them were infected with late blight, even though they had all looked fine on the surface.
So, I had to dump about ten pounds of potatoes in the trash, and look to my major suppliers to order more. I’ve got the orders off now, and it looks like the varieties I wanted were in stock. I guess that’s the nice thing about growing unusual varieties (though I had to switch to Russian Banana because I couldn’t find Austrian Crescents).
The “big fib” referred to in the title was the thing I said to H this afternoon, as M and I were leaving for a hike up Spirit Mound. I said something to the effect of, “We’re heading to Spirit Mound and then Sioux Falls to drop M off. I’ll probably be back at about 4:30, so I won’t be coming out to the farm today. I’ll work on yardwork at home.”
For the record, I did do a little yardwork at home. But after that little bit of trimming (and not having the gumption for the doggie do-do patrol), I just couldn’t think of anything I needed to do that didn’t involve being in my gardens.
So, even though it was late in the afternoon, I managed to take a bite out of the clean up still needing to be finished from last fall. I tackled the absolute worst row–pulling down pole bean and tomato vines from a cattle panel trellis, transporting them to the burn pile, then raking every bit of debris I could get out of there and dumping that on the burn pile as well.
I’m not going to risk planting a single solanaceae crop in that east garden because of all the blight problems from last year’s wet weather–but then most of them were in that garden last year–so I probably wouldn’t have planted any of them there anyhow.
Tomorrow’s supposed to be the warmest day this week (though it looks like we’ll have several decent days), so once I put in a good chunk of time on my classes in the morning, I’ll head out and do a combination of planting and more cleaning.
It’s my goal to finish the clean-up of the entire east garden tomorrow because that’s where many of the early spring crops will be sown this season. I’ll definitely be getting the spinach in tomorrow, and probably some of the radishes as well.
Other, more insect and rodent-susceptible crops will go in over the next week or two, once I know what my row cover situation is, and can free the rest of the tunnel cages from last year’s crops.