Thursday, July 12, 2012

Day 46: Presidential Peas Please

We, The Mayne Gardeners...fancy ourselves "amateur historians" as well as "amateur gardeners". Of particular interest to us is the 3rd president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Not only is Jefferson the author of the Declaration of Independence, he was also an avid us.

Of all the vegetables in Jefferson's garden his favorite was the Pea. Throughout his life Jefferson took fastidious notes and he kept a detailed account of the many vegetables planted in his garden. According to the Massachusetts Historical Society "Peas are mentioned frequently, in fact, two-thirds of all the pages of the AGArden Book (44 of 66 pages) include Jefferson's notes about various types: frame peas, Hotspur peas, cowpeas, marrowpeas, blackeyed peas, and Prussian blue peas." 

Some historians believe Jefferson's interest in peas was more than just epicurean and actually sprouted (excuse the pun) from a local contest. The Monticello Association website states that Jefferson often particiapted in an annual contest "to see which farmer could bring to the table the first peas of the spring".

In honor of America's greatest founding father The Mayne Gardeners also planted peas. Truthfully, Jefferson wasn't our only motivation...the fact is we love to eat peas too. On many summer afternoons we've sat on our deck overlooking the Webhannet River shelling peas purchased from Chase Farm on Rt 9 in Wells and on many evenings gobbled them down at dinner. Funny thing though...we often found ourselves eating a large quantity of the raw bounty right from the pods while shelling.

If you look back at our Day 1 inventory post, you'll see we planted five pea plants, but in addition to this we also sowed three rows of pea seeds. Our 30'X3' planting bed limited us to one varity of snap pea, nothing compared to Jefferson's varietal indulgence.

Day 46:

Coming soon

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 45: Stand Alone Planting Bed

We recently saw this stand alone, raised planting bed in a local nursery. It is 36" high, 38" long, 25" wide and about 11" deep and is made of cedar wood. We liked it so much we plan on making a similar one over the winter to be used in conjunction with the Mayne Garden. It was constructed using simple wood joinery, so it shouldn't be a difficult project nor an expensive one.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Day 44: I Wouldn't Quite Call it...

I wouldn't quite call it a Thanksgiving, but...
While checking the Mayne Garden last night, we noticed one Zucchini and one Yellow Summer Squash ready to be picked (and eaten). This weekend we planned on harvesting all of the Turnips, so we'll pick the squash at the same time. Once the Turnips are out of the ground (which are growing out of control), we will fill that area with a second planting of carrots and beans.
I wouldn't quite call it Godzilla, but...
     Some"thing" is eating our Brussell Sprout leaves...we think it is a leaf cutting worm of some kind. Why do we think so...because we saw it (green ugly fellow). We decided not to touch "the thing" with hands, but rather to blast "it" and any of "its" friends with bug spray next weekend.

      We feed The Mayne Garden last Sunday with a liquid fertilizer and cultivated the soil. We can see the difference. 

I wouldn't quite call it a victory garden yet, but...
Over-all, at this point we have some nice successes (Turnips, Zuchini, Summer Squash, Eggplant) and some not so nice successes (Beans, Peas, Carrots, Fennel, Brussell Sprouts).

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 31: Weekend plans

This weekend we'll be pretty busy in The Mayne Garden or at least hope to be if the weather cooperates. There are a number of essential "chores" (or labors of love) that need to be done. Over the past few weeks the Wells area has experienced unusual amounts of rain which prevented adequate servicing of The Garden. This rain washed away the remaining fertilizer we spread several weeks ago... So this weekend our three main goals are to cultivate and fertilize The Garden and then consume a nice juice hamburg on the grill.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 29: Carrot Crisis?

Over the weekend we discarded one Eggplant which was unquestionably dead, but  the majority of the other vegetable plants in The Mayne Garden look pretty good. Of course, since we are worrywarts we are concerned about some of Garden plants...We are referring to our Fennel and Carrots. We planted both of these from seed only four weeks ago and they are very small, not good for cool weather vegetables with the summer here.
      When we planted these seeds we knew it was late, but we figured considered this kind of an experiment.  "Let's see what happens", we thought. Regardless of success or failure of these, we decided to sow a second crop of Fennel and Carrots in mid-July for a Fall yield.
      Still, we find the fact that our Turnips are doing well even though they too are a cool weather vegetables like Fennel and Carrots.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 26: The Webhannet River

If the saga of The Mayne Garden was made into a movie the main character would be the Webhannet River. Located on the banks of the river in Wells, the success of The Mayne Garden ebbs and flows with the river itself. If you follow this blog you know the behavior of the river is the major influence on the health and survival of our Garden. All is the unpredictable nature of the Webhannet that makes living (and growing a garden) on its banks so invigorating.

Here are some interest facts about the Webhannet River:

1. The Webhannet River is approximately 8.3 miles long and its body lies entirely in the town of Wells, Maine

2. Pope's Creek, Depot Brook and Blacksmith Brook are the three main tributaries of the river.

3. 1,167 acres of river estuary, salt marsh and uplands are protected by the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge

4. US Army Corps of Engineers.built the two jetties located at the mouth of the Webhannet river in 1961. When built the north jetty was 580 feet long and the south 920.

5. In 1963 the north jetty was extended 200 feet. And in 1965 both jetties were extend again, north to 1,225 feet-south to 1,300feet.