Our 2021 garden: firsts!

We had a solid rainfall last night. With the sunflowers, tomatoes and bunching onions just transplanted yesterday, I was concerned over how they held up. I was happy to see that the tomatoes were looking very sturdy, and even the little bitty onions were looking stronger. It was the sunflowers that I was most concerned about, but they were also looking strong. Even the couple that were looking wimpy as they were being transplanted are standing strong, though the twine supports we added certainly helped that.

While moving seedlings out of the sun room this morning, I included the tray with the cucamelons. Not many of them germinated, but they are so prolific, we should still have lots. This same tray is where I’d planted the Hopi Black Dye sunflowers.

I had a surprise waiting for me.

The very first Hopi Black Dye seedling has emerged!! At this point, I thought for sure they were gonners. If I’d had any idea that they could take this long to germinate, I would have started them back in February!

I have no idea if more were germinate, or even if any will reach a point where it’s worth transplanting them. It’s so late in the season, but then, we do that the others that were direct sown, and who knows when those will germinate!

Meanwhile, we have another first this morning.

Our first harvest of spinach! Yes, we’ve been sneaking the odd leaf every now and then for a while, but they’ve reached a point where they need to be thinned out, so this morning I grabbed some from each bed. I could have had a lot more, but I could only reach so far under the two beds with chicken wire over top. Later on, when I have a second person to help out, we’ll move the covers off and thin them out properly.

After I finished cleaning the spinach, it was all I could do, not to just sit there and eat them all! Instead, I’m not eating some in an egg dish my daughters made for me for lunch. 🙂

Things got hot really fast this morning, and it’s only going to get hotter. We’re supposed to hit 29C/84F this afternoon, 34C/93F tomorrow, which risk of thunderstorms, and 35C/95F with chance of thundershowers the day after. If we do get storms, we have enough things to use as cloche to protect the tomatoes, but I don’t know how we’d be able to protect entire rows of the sunflowers.

This type of weather is the sort of thing the squash would actually like – if they were already well established outside! We’ll continue making beds and transplanting, but will have to take steps to be able to protect them from storms as well.

For now, I’m just excited about our new sprout, and fresh spinach!!!

The Re-Farmer

First Fruits


While doing a check around the yard for downed branches, I went past the remains of the raspberry patch along the big garden.  There I found the first ripe raspberries of the year!

There are so few surviving raspberries left that I don’t expect much more, but now that they have started to ripen, it will be good to check them every day until the season for them is done.

Next year, I hope we will be able to start up a new raspberry patch in a better location, and with other varieties as well. 🙂

The Re-Farmer