As the new year starts, we are busy pouring through seed catalogs and drawing up plans for the spring. Hope springs eternal within the Gardener’s heart. There is always next year!
Not that 2016 was a bad year. We had a usual share of failures and wild weather, but still managed to harvest piles of produce; the St. Mary’s food bank and the Carmelite Convent were pleased to receive lots of heirloom tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers, as were the volunteers on the farm sites. The trees planted on our Littleton farm were all still alive going into their second winter.
I’m already thinking about our spring Rogation Day field blessing. Since restoring Catholic horticultural traditions is at the heart of our mission, this is always a highlight of the year.
Due to erratic spring and fall weather over the past few years, we plan to build some mini-frames which can be easily moved around the site, and covered with plastic, row cover, shade cloth or pest netting as conditions change.
We will be converting more of our crops over to landraces instead of named varieties this year. For more on landraces and their adaptive potential, see my earlier post here.
We have lots of other activities and projects planned; if I find time I will be posting about these in the upcoming weeks.
O God, please give us favorable weather and an abundant harvest through the intercession of St. Isidore.