After winter finally took its welcome leave, I cleared up the SFG beds, was delighted to find that my rocket had survived again, and collected three large sacks of horse manure from a local riding stables, one of which I have worked into the soil. I also worked in some compost.
I have also managed to dig over what has been, for the last two years, my potato bed. I dunged it, and after ordering 25 green asparagus rhyzomes, I planted them out in the middle of April (some were a but mouldy because I left them in the plastic bag they were packed in a bit too long - but most were ok) and I now have two rows of wonderful asparagus shoots sticking up.
I've sown 'Blaues Wunder' flax seeds from Bantam (guaranteed GM free) between the two asparagus rows, which will not only look pretty in a while, but which will also be good for the soil and asparagus. The soil here is very sandy, but this is ideal for asparagus, and so far the shoots look fine. The great thing about asparagus is that it doesn't only taste wonderful, but after planting it out, it basically looks after itself for years. I can't harvest it until next year at the earliest, so it'll be great just to let it grow, give it the occasional dunging and have the joyful anticipation of years of scrumptious green asparagus spears every May-June. Bees love sunflowers, apparently, so I've transplanted some bird-sown sunflowers which were sprouting on our terrace and sown some organic sunflower seeds in the middle row where the flax seeds are, between the asparagus rows. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the whole bed looks in a few months' time. Hopefully, spectacular and an eye-catcher for the whole garden.
I have planted spinach seeds, which are now sprouting well too. A square patch of sandy soil next to my 3x3 SFG bed is now planted out with GM free sweet corn seeds which I also got from Bantam. I bought them at my local EBL organic food shop.
Sugar snap peas, or Mangetout have gone into five squares of my 3x3 and in three squares I've also sown more Blaues Wunder flax seeds. Three Spring Cabbage seeds have been sown in three 4x4 squares as well. In the square patch on the right of this next picture, I have sown 15 sweet corn kernels - and really hope that they'll take well to the soil.
I was thrilled to discover some common morels growing in the bed of apple mint behind the beds in the left hand picture which I have dried and can add to any dish that needs mushrooms. That was a blessing. They only appear for a short time in spring, and then only after rain. Apparently they are highly sought after and not easy to grow commercially. I put a couple into a beef and Guiness stew at the beginning of April. Delicious.
Oh yes, and bang on schedule, like a little miracle, the Golden Oriole is fluting away here for the first time since last summer. It is such a thrill to hear this beautiful bird, which sounds so tropical, in the oak woods around our house. It is really incredible to think that it migrates all the way from Central or Southern Africa and India and arrives here to breed every year, on the same day, 3rd May. Absolutely amazing.