Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Rhubarb patch

Rhubarb here on the farm lives in three places.  
The original patch lives at the edge of the yard; it hasn't been well weeded nor well maintained since it was planted there. 
Newly planted rhubarb on the edge of the back lawn and adjacent to the Christmas trees - this rhubarb was found on the side of the road in the Northeast Kindgtom of Vermont and relocated here very well.
Brand new rhubarb started from seed in old hoophouse - the only green rhubarb here on the farm.

The goal was to consolidate all the rhubarb this spring, but the weather and the greenhouse project took entirely more time than we expected.  Recently I heard something about homesteading that resonates with me - the 1.5 times principle.  For every project you are planning to do on the farm - plan 1.5 times more time and 1.5 - 2 times more money than you thing it should take.   Every big project here on the farm has taken far more time than I budgeted for.  Thankfully most come in right about where I budget them financially.

In this case, postponing the rhubarb move is working in my favor.  I am able to work on killing the weeds in the area I want to move the rhubarb to before planting.  Weeding on this farm takes up an inordinate amount of time because I have not prepared my planting beds well at all.  My best performing bed is the 4 ft x 20 ft raised bed that we put in last year.  Planted in the square foot gardening method it only requires weeding early in the spring and the occasional maintenance weed eradication here and there.

The best location for the rhubarb is where we put the Northeast Kingdom plants.  Tonight, I weeded and heavily mulched around the existing plants; weed whacked a 25 - 30 ft square area down as close to dirt as possible; pulled out some saved feed bags, cut them open and laid them on the ground around the existing patch; collected rocks (which grow better on this farm then most plants) and started killing the weeds around the rhubarb.  I would like to add four to six more sacks around what you see above and let them all sit and kill the underlying weeds until late September.  At that point I will dig up all the rhubarb from the front yard and greenhouse and move it to this spot, mulch it heavily and hope for the best come spring.

On to the herb garden? 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Modest harvest

Last night's harvest from our early July garden was modest - the radishes were cleaned and put into the refrigerator awaiting their place in a salad or a batch of radish relish this weekend and the rhubarb frozen for its use in strawberry rhubarb jam, pie or delectable rhubarb bars.

The stalks on the very left are only about eight inches long.  To be healthy, rhubarb should be split and separated, ours did not get moved or separated this spring.  Tomorrow night's farm task is mowing the location for the new rhubarb patch and putting down weed suppression in preparation to move the rhubarb this fall.

I spend far too much time weeding.  Better bed preparation results in better yields.  Valuable lesson learned.