This week we had fourteen round bales delivered to the farm. Two flax straw bales and the rest are barley straw bales. The bales are a couple of years old and not suitable for too many uses, but they are perfect for us. We were able to use a straw shredder, so the day they were delivered we shredded all 14 bales. The pictures below are the piles of straw awaiting to be spread as mulch throughout the gardens this year. The flax straw will be used on the perennials and shrubs, as it takes a long time to break down and the barley straw will be used on the annual crops.
Our grandchildren playing in the piles of straw.
This week we are still busy planting, preparing the soil for planting, mulching and weeding. We have not received any rain this Spring, so the surface moisture of the soil is lacking , but there is moisture a few inches into the soil. Anything we seed we have to keep moist till it germinates, and then we cut back on the watering so the roots go down to where the moisture exists.
The birds are all settling into making their nests and some have started to lay their eggs. Have been enjoying the song of the Northern Oriole lately. They are a bit shy and don't show their faces too much, but maybe this year they will be a little more comfortable with us. The barn swallows just arrived back today and both of the hummingbirds are back and chasing each other away from the nectar feeders.
We also noticed this Spring that there are a lot more bumblebees (the large yellow and black bees) in the yard. A new plant called the Red Feathers is blooming right now and the bees are all over it. The hummingbirds have also been visiting the flowers.
The special we are offering this week is an Allium I have had for a long time. It grows 18-24" tall, forms clumps, blooms in late June to early July (light pink) and thrives in full sun. It is one of those perennials that has been around for a long time. It will be available this week for $5.00 in a gallon size pot at the Saskatoon Farmers Market.
Bees and butterflies love this plant (allium).