Taking advantage of a rare break between our back to back storms, I rushed up to Sonoma to finally deal with those rogue Brussels Sprouts. You’ll remember, these are the sprouts that went feral after our two heat waves in January and blowsed out into fist size cabbages instead of tight little heads. (Note to self: outside of the coastally cooled areas, you cannot grow Brussels Sprouts in California.) So up they came and into the compost pile. Then I added to the fava beans I’m already growing as cover crops in some of my raised beds.
Plus I think I’ve found a way to foil the foxes that are sneaking under the gates of the raised beds and snacking on tender fava roots.
Much as I love fava beans, I’m not sure if I’ll be harvesting these. I may plow them back into the soil as green mulch after I’ve determined that they’ve “fixed” nitrogen into the soil. And my latest reading tells me exactly how to determine that. Apparently, I yank them up just before they fruit and check the nodules on the roots. If they are pink, nitrogen is fixed. This is a dangerous bit of knowledge for a rank amateur such as myself. I can imagine I’ll be digging up and replanting favas repeatedly as I’ll be wondering every week if they are working.
In other notes from Two Terrier Vineyards:
We’ve sighted a coyote, so I guess they are returning to the area. Hopefully, they’ll start cleaning out those gophers and crowding out the foxes.
Our extensive drain and culvert system has held up well during our two week drenching. Except for this walled oak. Hopefully, it will drain out before the poor guy drowns.
Finally, I’ve seeded our small meadow with California native wildflowers. Well, “seeded” makes it sound like I did some active planting, which I didn’t. Plants under my tender care are subjected to Darwinian stress tests. Only the fittest survive. So I strewed seeds out randomly like Johnny Appleseed. We’ll see how that works out.