We had a few warm days this week before a few days of rain in the forecast. We took a look at our seedlings and a few starter plants from town before we mapped out the rest of the garden. We do not own any fancy equipment minus a few shovels (called bells in Albanian), rakes and a hoe. We fertilized our soil with a mixture of dried sheep manure from the neighbors paddock after hand tilling the land. We had family visit in the afternoon on the last day and they assisted with last leg of planting and root clean up which was amazing.
What did we plant? 36 rows of bush beans, 12 rows of potatoes, 3 rows of green beans, watermelon, pumpkin, zucchini squash, 2 rows of eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, spring onions, climbing beans, carrots, spring lettuce and spinach and a few cantaloupe, okra, strawberries, mint, chamomile, lavender, parsley. And below is the final map of where and what because I, second year gardener, fail at recognizing weeds from plants. Last years I weeded out some mountain tea plants on accident.
Why do we plant this much? We are household of three, myself, Art (husband) and my mother in law. My mother in law cooks with garlic and onion almost daily and makes a bean dish a few times a week (one of my husbands favorites) and my sister in law and her family live in the city so we provide a fair amount of produce to their household as well.
We walk the garden daily to inspect fruit trees for any disease or fatigue. The weather conditions have been ideal for our mulberry and thana (cornelian cherries) trees. Our pears are hit and miss, two trees basically picked bare after inspection of some vagrant worm and the peach, cherry, some figs show some damage from the late snow/frost on April 1st. The apple, cherry, plum, persimmon, kiwis, olive, pomegranate and kimchi (jujube) trees are starting to develop more each day. One cherry tree seems to be either dead or dormit for the year. We have several new trees, nectarine, plum, fig, pomegranate, and even a grafted quince with a pear doing well this spring.
Today is the last day of April and we are still under movement limitations with the pandemic. Cases in Albania have started to flatten as of today the total number of cases 773 but over 470 have recovered. No confirmed cases have ever been reported in our region and other regions have been reported as cleared in the country. We are doing well, spirits high and energy good. Earth therapy does the soul wonders. I hope those trapped inside with out a garden can get out in May in put their energy back in to the soil. It heals.
Our mission to support the local schools and community is still ongoing. If you want to learn more checkout: https://www.homesteadalbania.com/stockthelibrary
We have also added a new online shop for those that one a slice of our homestead in your home or office: https://www.homesteadalbania.com/shop
Spring is alive from our city center looking back towards the Mokset Hills. Longer days in May, I want hike the lower green mounts featured below.