Sequim Lavender festivals

Last weekend Ted and I squired his mom around the lavender festival. I haven’t been for some years. Now that I have my own micro-field of lavender I was interested to check out established farms and examine: how big the plants can get (big!), irrigation systems (drip at the root line), mulch (plastic sheet, oyster shell, weeds), and how many products can be made from lavender oil (too many to list). We have enough lavender farms in Kitsap and surround that a mini-fair would be possible here. There are two vendors who show up just in the Bremerton Farmers Market! There’s the excellent example of the Sequim farms to learn from. Lavender weekend is wildly popular, the crowds were huge even with the (unseasonable in Sequim) rain. A note on the festivals. There were three. The Sequim Lavender Festival, now in its 15th year, was free and featured new and … Continue reading

Lawn to lavender field

When we bought this house it came with a lawn and a patch of blackberries near a lilac bush that had once been a little garden. Last year I rehabilitated the neglected garden. I pulled the blackberries and planted bird and bee friendly plants and flowers. Last fall Alex and I went to work turning the lawn into a lavender field. We mulched the grass with a layer of cardboard and newspaper, a layer of leaves, and a layer of straw. This spring we covered the mulch with some yards of Emu 5-5-5. This soil didn’t have a lot of nitrogen so we planted a cover crop, let it grow, and turned it under. This spring we bought 160 lavender plants from Barnes and Sons Lavender Farm in Poulsbo. Alex took over the labor on the project at this point. He mixed some sand in with some of the Emu … Continue reading

From the garden

What’s in season in my garden right now: Sugar sprint peas Lettuce Strawberries I bought the lettuce as starts from the farmers market and planted a bunch of them. There’s green and red leaf, butterhead, romaine, and others I’m sure. The arugula has bolted, but I have lots of kale and chard too. The peas I started from Territorial Seeds. I’m completely undisciplined about strawberries, I buy them whenever I see them. I plant them in containers to lift them up off the ground. This year I’m getting a really good crop that hasn’t yet been spotted by the local wildlife. The potager garden is completely surrounded by deer netting and I put bird tape at the top of the netting so the deer could see it. It’s silver and flashes in the sunlight when there’s a bit of a breeze. I wonder if it’s scaring the birds off the … Continue reading

Quack grass to plantable soil transition in progress

Alex has been going at the meadow. He picked up some new ideas for dealing with quack grass from the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s publication Organic Soil Fertility and Weed Management. First he cut the grass down to size with a scythe. Once it’s fairly short he’s been mowing it. He’s also tilling a test strip. Now before you say “Wait you can’t till quack grass!” here’s what NOFA says: “As anyone who has tried to tackle an area of quack grass knows, initial tillage is a good way to rapidly increase the number of shoots, thereby spreading the plant insted of eradicating it. That’s because the cutting up of the roots and rhizomes by tillage releases the buds from their hormonal suppression, causing them to sprout. “But the sprouts have less nutrient reserves to draw upon from the segmented underground stems, and their growth is less vigorous. And this … Continue reading