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Tuesday March 21, 2017

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!!

It is now mid March but the weather this week has been more like late April-early May. Abundant sunshine and record high temps. About mid 60 early in the week but the last 2 or 3 days we have been mid to high 70's..just downright hot and dry!! I have been running around in shorts and t-shirt all week even in the early morning!! While I am not missing the snow it would be nice to get a nice gentle overnight rain!! Looks like we may have a change of weather about mid-week. A bit of rain and cooler temps along about Wednesday..

The warm weather is speeding up some of the signs of spring. The apricot trees went from barely showing color on Tuesday to about 3/4 bloom today. The bees are VERY happy but I am worried about them getting frozen this next week. The maple is pretty much all done blooming and is starting to leaf out. The nanking cherries are blooming. The crocuses and siberian iris are just about through blooming, but the daffodils are budding. The buds on the apple trees are just barely starting to show green,,they start to leaf out before they bloom {apricots and cherries bloom first then leaf out}. The willows are starting to leaf out. The roses are even starting to leaf out..The buds on the lilac are swelling..

High tunnel is growing well..plants are just going nuts is all this sunshine!!  We got 5 more trays of greens and lettuces in Wednesday..just have a couple more trays of greens, another succession of lettuces and another seeding of radishes, salad greens and beta greens and it will be full to bursting until we start harvesting. aThen as the beds get empty again we will be planting warm season goodies..tomatoes, peppers, eggplant. okra and more!!

I kind of thought the prop house was a bit empty after we moved all those trays out to the honey house..well I think I have filled most of the space back up and I have more to do!! It is magic..I can take one seedling flat and turn it into 5 or 6 flats of seedlings in just a couple hours!! Didn't get to spend as much time in there as I would of liked..the weather was just too gorgeous and we had outdoor projects lined up..Today Mom and I potted up a bunch of gooseberry plants that we dug out of the currants when we pruned Monday and fed the worms{Mom has a bin of composting worms going} Looks like Sunday we will be out there again potting up lemon grass and starting more seeds..more lettuce and greens{these will be for outdoors}, the broccoli and cauliflower, and I need to check my calendar..there is something else I need to get started..maybe basil for the CSA?..I have a really severe case of CRS going on this week..good thing I have written stuff down..now if I could just remember where I put my calendar!!

This week our outdoor adventures were mostly about pruning and garlic. Monday we worked on pruning the last pink currant..and digging the gooseberries back away from it..{at some point the gooseberries are going to get a new "home"..I have several spots I can put them...just need to decide which one}. We also prunned what I think is a honey berry, an aronia{we actually found a tag on it!!} and another mystery shrub that Della planted a couple years ago. We got them all fertilized and tied up for the season..then we fertilized and tied up the nanking cherries. Just have 2 more cherries to tie up and 4 more currants to prune. On Tuesday we planted a bed of garlic..we didn't get the garlic planted last fall..first time ever..the ground went from workable to frozen solid overnight on us. This next week we will be getting another bed planted. Having never planted garlic in the spring I have no idea what it may do..I am thinking it will maybe be later to harvest{although I think day length may have something to do with how it grows and matures} and the bulbs may be smaller..It will be a learning experience!! Thursday we pruned trees..got 9 apples and a quince done..have a couple more I would like to work on, but I think it is getting too late to do much with them. {and it's not like we don't have a long list of other projects to work on!!} Tomorrow during our work day we will be getting beds ready for peas and favas.

Our website has a new look!!a new look!! Billie and Mike {my youngest niece and her hubby} have gotten it finished and set up a facebook page as well. Please check them out and give us feedback!!  www.circleagarden.com  there is a link to facebook on the homepage.   THANK YOU THANK YOU guys for getting all this set up..

I am in search of interns, a couple more work share folks, and volunteers for the coming season..if you know anyone who might be interested please have them call me{970-249-9725..ask for Betsy}

We are about 3 weeks out from that first veggie pickup!! It looks like first veggie pickup will be April 8th..I had thought maybe April 1st but I just don't think we will have enough stuff ready. If this weather keeps up we may change that but I think most stuff needs that extra week.{on April 1st it looks like we would just have arugula, chives, chervil, and oregano and maybe radishes and turnips}On April 8th though we should have all those plus chard, kale, bok choi, mustards, other asian greens, fava greens, salad greens and/or beta greens from the high tunnel and over wintered beets, scallions, maybe some leeks, green garlic from outdoors. if the weather continues to be as pleasant we may also have bedding plants. Please take a few minutes to go to the website to sign up for another season of amazing goodies!! Please go to www.circleagarden.com 

Special Workdays for March will be the next two Saturday.. March 18 and 25..9 am to noon.. we will be getting ready to plant peas..If you can't make Saturdays we still need help during the week..please call and let me know when you can come out!! {this is the time of year I am most able to "run away from home" so I need to plan a bit.

Hope you are all enjoying this spring weather as much as we are!!

Looking forward to growing for you!!

Betsy, Terry, Jeanne, and all of us here at Circle A

Posted by: Betsy Austin
3/17/2017 6:46 pm

Happy almost{?} spring!!!

Here we are coming up to mid March..someplace in Shakespeare he says Beware the ides of March..that's about all I remember..is anyone's memory doing better than mine? The time also changed last night..I think they do it just to confuse me!! The weather the last couple of weeks has been pretty typical springtime in the rockies weather...clouds, snow, a bit of rain, abundant sunshine, lots of wind..sometimes all in one day. Mostly sunny and warm except for early this last week..Sunday if it wasn't nailed down it is now in Delta or beyond..had a bit of rain early Sunday night..then we woke up to snow{so much for the forecast of 20% chance of precipitation..all 20% hit here!!}..early Monday morning we had blizzard conditions for a bit..wind was still howling and the snow was coming down hard..visibility was nil. Cold Monday but at least the wind was gone and it started clearing by late afternoon..Cold and clear on Tuesday and the rest of the week was gloriously sunny. Today has been a bit cloudy off and on but still very warm. Looks like we are going to be sunny and warm for about the next ten days. I know, I know, This is Colorado and it is springtime so that can change in  a matter of minutes!!

The high tunnel is really filling rapidly!! Our first succession of greens are looking yummy..they are about 3-4 times the size they were just 2 weeks ago. Favas, beets, and turnips are up and working on their 2nd set of true leaves..the carrots finally decided to get in the act this last week..I think they were waiting for the sun before they germinated..they are lookin' good but still very small. Radishes, salad and beta greens, and arugula are already up and growing well. I found a new green to try this year..it is a baby pak choi..is only supposed to get about 2 inches tall..we'll be harvesting it as a very baby green..We got another succession of greens and lettuces transplanted..compared to the first ones they look so small!! They are looking great!! When I look down the tunnel from the top I can see many more green patches..Ain't spring grand??!!

The prop house is changing just about every week now..new plants are growing rapidly..older plants either get "kicked" out to transplant into the high tunnel or out to the honey house to grow on until it is time to transplant them into the garden. We kicked all of the alliums out last week..they are ready for another haircut and another bit of fertilizer..they are slated to go out into the garden late March-early April..depending on what the weather decided to do then. Have another succession of greens and lettuces that will be going out to the high tunnel in the next couple of weeks. Fertilized and moved artichokes, early kohlrabi, and pansies out to the honey house this morning. Yesterday and today I pricked up cabbages, more lettuce, rosemary, lavender, and some other little herbie things. The next couple of days I will be starting more lettuces and greens, early broccoli and cauliflower, celeriac and more. The peppers, tomatoes and eggplant for the high tunnel are starting to come up. Celery is and some more little herbs are just about ready to prick up. We started rooting some lemon grass starts a couple of weeks ago and I think they are just about ready to pot up. An ever changing cornucopia of new "babies"!!!

Outdoors pruning adventures continue..Mom, Terry, and I have been working on getting currants and nanking cherries pruned..just about done with most of them..then it is on to blackberry adventures. Tree pruning has gotten slowed by the weather, but looks like we may be able to get back to it this week..unless we wake up to more snow in the morning!! More signs of spring..bees are ecstatic in the maples..they are almost done blooming..willows are "glowing" and the buds are swelling rapidly..nanking cherries are budding and looks like they will be blooming soon{the bees are already checking them out I can hear them going "open. open. open" already..some of the earlier herbs are just barely peeking up{salad burnet, garlic chives, and celandine}

Our website is getting a new look!! Billie and Mike {my youngest niece and her hubby are busy working on it. It is a work in progress but so far I like!! Please help me thank them!! I can grow just about anything, but am VERY challenged when it comes to the computer stuff!!

I am in search of interns, a couple more work share folks, and volunteers for the coming season..if you know anyone who might be interested please have them call me{970-249-9725..ask for Betsy}

We are about 3-4 weeks out from that first veggie pickup!!  Please take a few minutes to go to the website to sign up for another season of amazing goodies!! Please go to www.circleagarden.com 

Special Workdays for March will be the next two Saturday.. March 18 and 26..9 am to noon.. we will either be working on tree pruning or getting ready to plant peas..If you can't make Saturdays we still need help during the week..please call and let me know when you can come out!! {this is the time of year I am most able to "run away from home" so I need to plan a bit.

Hope you are all having a healthy and restful winter season,

Looking forward to growing for you!!

Betsy, Terry, Jeanne, and all of us here at Circle A

Posted by: Betsy Austin
3/12/2017 6:38 pm

Happy almost{?} spring!!!

Can you believe it is March already?! Did March actually come in like a lion? or a lamb? This is March 1 and it has been a glorious sunshiny day..a bit cold..but lots of sun. Yesterday it snowed most of the day!! We got about 3 inches..most of which is starting to melt off already. February seemed way shorter than usual...many more sunshiny days than in January though!! Seems like we are getting a storm about once a week or so when it cools way off and either rains or snows just a bit. A few temps up in the 60's until the last couple of days. We heard that it was in the 80's on the front range a couple weeks back..in January?..really??

In the high tunnel..we have gotten the first succession of greens planted as well as favas, beets, carrots, and turnips. It looks so empty right now..plants are very small..only big green splotches are the chives and the chervil..I know that will change soon.. Tomorrow we will be seeding salad and beta greens, radishes, and a bit of arugula. Next week we will have a whole other succession of greens and lettuces ready to go in..it should start looking a bit more full!!

All the "babies" in the prop house are doing well{I am actually using the greenhouse off the house right now so that Mom can watch everything grow} All the aliums{onions,leeks,shallots}got another haircut and fertilizer..they will be going out to the honey house as soon as it warms up just a tad this next week. More lettuces and greens are just about ready for transplant. Have started early cabbages and kohlrabi..the are all up and doing well..just pricked up artichokes and pansies..started a few more herbs and celery. AND today I started tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant for the high tunnel!!

Outdoors a couple weeks back we got a good start on tree pruning..George and Allysa{our young farmer friends from Blue Grama} came out and we spent a day pruning. Mom has been  out pulling weeds off and on in the sunshine. Still have quite a few more trees to get to as soon as this last bit of snow goes away. Signs of spring we are seeing..Maple is blooming, bulbs are coming up everywhere, just barely seeing little red noses popping up on the rhubarb..birds are starting to get into that spring mood.

I am in search of interns, a couple more work share folks, and volunteers for the coming season..if you know anyone who might be interested please have them call me{970-249-9725..ask for Betsy}

We are about 4-5 weeks out from that first veggie pickup!! The website was down for a week or so..my bad!! if you tried to sign up and couldn't I apologize and ask that you please try again!! Please take a few minutes to go to the website to sign up for another season of amazing goodies!! Please go to www.circleagarden.com 

Workdays for March are pretty much any day from 9 or 10 to about 1 or so. Please call ahead and make arrangements to come out to help!! {this is the time of year I am most able to "run away from home" so I need to plan a bit.

Hope you are all having a healthy and restful winter season,

Looking forward to growing for you!!

Betsy, Terry, Jeanne, and all of us here at Circle A

Posted by: Betsy Austin
3/1/2017 4:01 pm