I haven't been posting much as I've been under the weather. Both literally and figuratively. We had a foot and a half of snow dumped on us on the 13th and 14th and the extreme cold caused a rheumatoid arthritis flare and a fibromyalgia flare at the same time. Then I came down with a cold which feels like it might be heading into a sinus infection, because that's just how I roll.
Not much has been happening here, anyway. I've been planning and purchasing online for the garden. I've ordered my seed potatoes and my sweet potatoes for the summer. I am going to be growing beauxregard (I think that is how it is spelled) sweet potatoes. They are a 90 day sweet potato that does good in the north and stores well. Most sweet potatoes take 120 to 150 days, so are not good candidates for here unless you have a green house. I have not grown them before. I hope they do well, because you can get a lot if you plant them properly.
For potatoes I ordered Kennebec, Yukon gold, red La Soda, and Gold Rush. Kennebec and La Soda are good for long-term storage. Under the right conditions they can last until the next growing season and our basement has the right conditions. The others will be eaten fresh first as well as canned.
I've got five thornless blackberry canes coming and 3 huckleberry bushes. I am pretty excited about both. We took out the thorny blackberries two years ago and haven't had any since. And I've wanted huckleberry bushes for ages. I love huckleberries and they make a fantastic jam. I don't know if there will be much production the first year, they said some, but I'm not sure how big the bushes will be. They may be quite small considering I paid $25 for 3.
I am hoping we will get the seed starting station set up this weekend. The grow lights have arrived so then all I would need was an extension cord, the seed starting trays and the starting mix to get going. I'd like to start my peas, spinach, bunching onions, and lettuce immediately. Then shortly after that the brassicas (broccoli, kohlrabi, cauliflower, kale). In about two weeks I can start my sweet meat squash, tomatoes, melons, and zucchini so they will be ready to plant out at the start of May.
Also this weekend DH needs to go to the industrial part of town and look for free pallets, since we will be building our beds out of pallet wood. Once a couple of the beds are built we can start filling them with spoiled hay and free one year old horse manure. Plus whatever is in the compost bins and any branch trimmings from the rose bushes and apple trees (once it is warm enough to prune them). Then we'll top them off with good garden soil.
My method of gardening is a cross between hugelkulture, permacutlture, raised beds, French biointensive, and lasagna gardening. It works for me, but it takes a lot of biological input to build it all from scratch. It's going to cost a lot to get it going, but after that it'll be down to just the cost of seeds each year and compost which I make a lot of myself. And I can get as much free well-rotted horse manure as I need from the stables around here. Which is great, since I no longer have rabbit manure available to me.
Building the fence and buying the cattle panels is what is going to cost a lot, but in the end it will all be worth it.