Early this morning Craig and I headed to our garden to cut some fresh kale and collards for our daily green drink. We'd almost reached the garden gate when we noticed that a battle was taking place near one of our Montmorency cherry trees in the back of the orchard. Actually, it was taking place right in the middle of the tree! We have a bumper crop of cherries on our two Montmorency trees this year, and they've been ripening up very nicely the past couple of weeks. Since the Montmorency variety are not sweet cherries, but are sour or pie cherries, I've been picking cherries and dehydrating them almost daily. They're not tasty for eating fresh, but they're incredibly delicious when dehydrated. I've seen this variety of dehydrated cherries for sale in grocery stores at super expensive prices.
I want to share with you a few old words of wisdom that prompted me to quit some things. It's a quick excerpt from an old book on agriculture that was given to me.
"Some people seem to think they must accomplish in a few years what their grandparents spent half a lifetime doing, namely, carving a comfortable home out of the wilderness….I see no sense in turning a potentially satisfying and rewarding experience into a period of nerve-shattering frustrations. Why would you choose to live in the country? Most likely because you crave the peace and quiet of the 'good life' close to the soil. It is entirely possible that you could spend half of your lifetime trying so hard to make yourself "comfortable" on the land that you never have time to enjoy the peace and quiet that you have around you." (from The Country Way by Lloyd Eighme)
We're starting to have some springy weather, and it makes me think about fall garden chores that somehow didn't get done in the fall! By late fall all "efficient" gardeners have cleared out old plants, pulled up tomato stakes, and prepared the garden beds by adding amendments. Of course, a soil test should have been sent in last fall also--so I would know just how much of each of those amendments to add! I said "should have"…and I mean just that--garden chores are NO FUN in the freezing weather!
So if you haven't taken a soil sample yet, now is as good a time as any! Here is a short clip on taking a soil sample along with recommendations for a lab. It comes from Bob Gregory's excellent DVD training course--Food Grower's Guidelines.