I’m thinking about spring gardening waaaay ahead of schedule, and I’m not even really a gardener! However, I have a yard and a little tiny strip of an herb/tomato garden. I have a woodchuck. Despite inspiration from Margaret at A Way to Garden, all I’ve been able to figure out is that I need to not plant tomatoes this year to give the ground a rest. And if I plant parsley and lettuce I’m just feeding the woodchuck.
Spring Gardening Day, hosted by the The Master Gardener Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia & Greene Counties, is happening Saturday, April 14, 2012.
There will be 16 classes in 3 90-minute sessions. Some of the classes I’m thinking about are:
- Gardening with Herbs
- Shade Gardening with Native & non-Native plants
- Vegetable Gardening for 2012
- How to be a Healthy and Happy Gardener Gardening Without Aches, Pains & Injury (hello!)
Pre-paid registration is due by Tuesday, April 3 (that’s practically now!). The fee is $25 for the day or $10 per session (per person). You can find more information here.
- Spring Gardening Day
- Saturday, April 14, 2012
- 9:00am – 2:30pm
- Columbia-Greene Community College
Ah, the month of love and groundhogs. Happy Groundhog Day!
I only have this one blurry photo because the woodchuck that lives under our shack, Chuck, is wily and fast for a chubby guy. I am not one for hunting varmints even though he snacks on my tomato & herb garden and my neighbor’s native plants garden. My lovely neighbor wants to firebomb my shack; I just try to be strategic about what I plant in the garden. However, if you are adventurous, here is a recipe for woodchuck pie as well as woodchuck stew.
Uh, bon appetit. I’ll watch this instead:
Is it me or does this tomato plant not look so good? So many questions, so few answers… We were consulting with friends who live across the river and down, and they suggested (gasp), blight. Argh. I hope that’s not the case.
I hope this one grows up to be a big boy.
On a more hopeful note, I harvested my first garlic scapes ever! I planted garlic last fall for the first time and sure enough, I got garlic scapes. I love to make tons of garlic scape pesto and put it in the freezer for those mid-winter pizzas.
I’m obviously ignoring the fact that I’m freezing the pesto in plastic. I haven’t cut out all bad habits.
The basil is looking good so far. Will Chuck decimate it once again? Stay tuned…
At the very least, I’ll be able to try out recipes calling for purslane – quite a nutritious weed that is rampant in my garden…
I go a little crazy when I plant seeds and ignore all rules as to how far apart the seeds are supposed to be. Now I’m thinning my little herblings and purslane and calling them microgreens. Very nice on fried eggs on Sunday mornings.
Here’s hoping this is not the last missive from my backyard garden…
This was a search term that led someone to this site.
I wish I had something to tell them. My neighbor sprinkles cayenne pepper around all of her plants and I plant basil (which chuck doesn’t eat) around the parsley (which he mows down). The author of The $64 Tomato goes to hilarious lengths to try to woodchuck-proof his garden – his garden buddy is named Superchuck.
The woodchuck is a powerful creature.
Dreaming of Creamed Woodchuck, Woodchuck pie...
***Update 7/24. I was delusional. Chuck eats everything. Below you will see the carnage of a garden that I am left with: the twigs on the left were cilantro and parsley, the twigs in the middle were purslane that just appeared but I thought might make a nice salad, and the twigs on the right, supposedly guarding my herbs, is the basil.
I have no words.
Slowly slowly, we’re getting there. The crazy rains a couple of weeks ago took out many of the herb seedlings that were just starting out in life. The wild purslane, on the other hand, finds the conditions very suitable. Lucky for me The Farm at Millers Crossing has been selling plants at $2 so I quickly restocked, also planted some more basil seeds, and should be set for the summer.
There are strange mushroomy things growing under several of my tomatoes – I take it it’s a bit too shady and moist under there. That doesn’t bode well for the tomatoes…
I finally figured out that planting aromatics is the only way to share a yard with a woodchuck or three. I’ve planted peppermint and spearmint in a shady corner where nothing else has grown and am hoping it spreads like gangbusters. The basil and rosemary seem to not attract interest. The lavender by the back door is lovely to run fingers through and also never seems to be a woodchuck snack.
I never fancied myself a gardener, but the idea of a backyard oasis has prompted new skills. However, I am off to cheer on the Homecoming King and Queen as the two boys lead the first Hudson Pride parade, organized by a fellow baker, Trixie Starr. Never a dull moment.
Chuck likes fiddleheads.
There were beautiful little fiddleheads earlier in the morning, and then by afternoon, this. Obviously humans are not the only ones foraging for yummy new foods this time of year. I’ve eaten fiddleheads once or twice and find them an interesting dish, but more a novelty than anything. Since my attempts at a little fern forest have failed (and now I know why), I will not be harvesting chez moi. I wonder if Chuck’s working on my dandelion greens…
Ah, Chuck the woodchuck. Bane of my existence in the summers when my garden is growing and my parsley disappears overnight. Moves pretty fast for a chubby guy. However, today is his day and he must be reveling in the glory of being a groundhog. I’ll allow it today only – and hope for spring to come soon…
Or, it didn’t work quite the way I intended. I have pots of baby mesclun and micro greens growing on my front porch in an effort to not feed the woodchuck (who eats everything on the back porch). Before I had a single green in my salad however, they had all bolted/bloomed, and now I have dying flowers on my porch, not mesclun greens.
I’ll talk about the woodchuck another day.
“Think Spring” signs and other such hopeful notices have been popping up, and the “spring forward” time change yesterday as well as temperatures in the 60s help as well. But I’m still only dreaming of gardening… My little herb garden that usually lives in pots on my back porch has been wintering on the kitchen counter and except for the basil the survival rate has been great. The parsley plant above is a transplant from the garden last fall, after being chomped down to the stalks by Chuck the Woodchuck twice and then living through a couple of frosts. It has now also survived my indoor gardening.
Since I don’t dare start gardening yet (there isn’t a lot of prep to do with my tiny plot), I went for a drive to check out the return of our one and only health food store in Hudson, closed for the past 1+ years after a fire. Kaaterskill Farms Health Food Store is back and expanded but I have a feeling it’s not quite done yet. The bulk food section is probably my favorite part with all sorts of things I can’t find in the grocery stores – and hopefully they will expand the selection of local foods. Welcome back!
Also while wandering, I found the building across from the train station is mid-renovation. I think this might be the coffee roastery I’ve heard rumor of – I spied one coffee roasting maching in the back. A local coffee producer would be a great addition to the area as well as for my taste buds.
Until it’s open, I will have to continue to dream of gardening and farmers markets and other things yummy.