Spring season on the farm and more

This Spring season has flown by!  The garden has done well considering going to work and working on other projects at the same time.  While this post is less educational, I hope it is a treat for your eyes!

“Kitchen garden”:

“Big garden”

The radishes, spinach, collards, lettuce, pak choi, kale, swiss chard, onions, beets, and basil were all planted fairly early.  Below is a list of planting times.  I will post photos and info on the radishes, spinach, collards, lettuce, pak choi, kale and swiss chard. (I am going to devote separate postings for the onions, beets, and basil).

In the “kitchen garden”, the onions, spinach, lettuce, kale, collards, radishes, and leeks were planted on the 10th and 11th of March.

 In the “big garden” or vineyard, the onions were transplanted on the 14th or 15th of March.  

The kale and swiss chard were planted on the 17th and 18th of March.

Another planting of the swiss chard, collards, spinach, and unsuccessful leftover garlic (that was apparently too old to plant) was planted on the 28th of March.

Continuing in the “big garden”.  The beets (Dolce Di Chioggia) were planted on the 3rd of April.  And the other beets (Detriot Dark Red) were planted on the 15th of April.

I’ll start with the progress of the RADISHES.  They were the first ones ready to be harvested.  They were planted in the “kitchen garden”.


Oh little radishes.


Little baby radishes in the middle.



They turned out pretty yummy!

What would I have done differently? I would have planted a lot more!  And if I had the time, I would have liked to pickle some.

The SPINACH was planted in the “big garden”.  It did very well and was beautiful, just didn’t last very long.  It’s possible I should have planted it earlier.  But, I think the biggest problem is that it got too hot too soon.  I heard from other people that their spinach did not last long either.

Cute little spinach plants.

The beautiful spinach with a few lambs quarters in the middle.

After I thinned the spinach.

Preparing for a quick stir fry meal before work.  Spinach on the far left.

Eli Chanin (my sweetie) made this stir fry in a hurry before I went to work.

One of the loads of spinach we harvested on the left.  Collards on the right.

And here’s some more!  Same day as above, but from a different perspective.

What I would have done differently? Possibly planted earlier, but I really think the short harvest time was due to the hot Spring we had.

The COLLARDS did poorly.  There was a small window of enjoying some greens, but they just did not do very well.  Some were planted in the “kitchen garden” and some in the “big garden”.

Kitchen garden COLLARDS:

Tiny little collard plants.

Collards on the outside, radishes in the middle.

On far left are the collards.


Now, for the “big garden” COLLARDS:

Collards on the far left here.  Tiny things in this photo.

At this point, it had gotten too hot for the collards.  You can see, I probably should have thinned them more.  The ones on the left did not grow any bigger than what you can see.  It is a mystery what exactly stunted their growth.

Here is a bag of collards.  I’m unsure which garden they came from (big or kitchen).

What would I have done differently?  I would have planted the collards earlier and thinned them earlier as well.  They just did not do as well as other greens.  I think also I need to do some research on how to be more successful with collards. 

The LETTUCE was planted by my Mama.  Planted in the “kitchen garden”, there was only a small plot of lettuce. She was going to stagger them, but then as lambs quarters were growing, we tried to devote a section to the lambs quarters.  Turned out, the lambs quarters grow larger and stronger in the “big garden”.  Oh well! it’s how we learn.

The little lettuce plants with a Buddha statue watching over.

You can see the lettuce in the middle, lambs quarters closest to you, and unsuccessful spinach farthest away.  The spinach did excellent in the “big garden”.  The spinach here was apparently some seeds that may have been old or no good.  The sure were no good too!

What would I have done differently?  I would have planted MORE lettuce!  

The PAK CHOI was fairly successful.  It was only in the “kitchen garden”.  Although I meant to plant MORE of it in the “big garden”, I never got around to doing it.  It did not last long as long as anticipated.  The harvest time was too short.  But pak choi always does well on our land, which is a great thing!  Hopefully we can plant more this fall.

Little pak choi plants closest to us in this photo.

We had two beds just like this one – pak choi on one side and swiss chard on other.


What would I have done differently?  I would have just planted MORE!

The KALE turned out wonderfully!  Although I think the plants turned out shorter than they should have been.  I have seen larger, taller kale plants.  I’m not sure why ours weren’t as healthy.  Still, we got a long season of kale.  And it was very yummy.  We planted both in the “kitchen garden” and in the “big garden”.

Here are the “kitchen garden” photos:

Those cute tiny kale plants.

Before we thinned…

We thinned them too much, but it was done according to directions in a book.  We know better for next time!

The KALE in the “big garden”:

Younger kale plants..

thinned and growing..



This is late June, the basil is in, the onions are all up, and as you can see, the kale is still alive.  Maybe not as tender and delicious as before, but still edible.  Those lambs quarters are huge! (The tree-like plants near the kale)

What would I have done differently?  I’m not sure actually.  Possibly, I’d like to find a few different varieties to plant to see which ones do better.  Also, I should read up on how to have the healthiest most awesome kale plants.  Mine did well, but I think there is always room to do better.

The SWISS CHARD was a rainbow variety.  Beautiful plants!  They took awhile to take root and give large healthy leaves for us to munch on.  I thought they were all going to just die.  But, once they matured, they did wonderfully.  It’s the beginning of July and they are still out there now!

“Kitchen garden” – The swiss chard did not do so well in this garden.  The garden is more shaded.  We added plenty of compost and manure to the river soil my mom, sister and aunt collected.  So it should have been plenty fertile.  I think maybe the soil ended up too sandy and there was not enough light.

Tiny swiss chard closest to black pot, pak choi closest to the viewer.

pak choi doing awesome! swiss chard..being small and sad

Doing a little better here!

The “big garden” was much more successful with the swiss chard.

pretty rainbow swiss chard..

I’m actually ashamed to share this photo. Because I need to weed here so badly!  But I had so few photos of the swiss chard because they started out doing so poorly.  But this was taken at the end of June.  It’s amazing how long the swiss chard has lasted!

What would I have done differently?  As with many other greens, I would have thinned at the perfect time, weeded more, and eaten more!  

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little diary of how things went in the garden this Spring. I think I learned a lot.  I wanted to do more, but there is only so much you can do at first when you are trying everything out.  I got help too! From my Daddy, my Mama, my sister, and my honey.  Thank you for making this little garden happen 🙂

I devote this posting to my Daddy who I love more than all the stars that shine.  He is a patient, kindhearted soul, with many talents.  He is also a helpful, hardworking man.  And this is all “to say the least”.  I want to express gratitude for his life and that he made it through a more than rough time recently. ❤ Em


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