March is one of the best months here in Maella, the weather is warm in the day and cool at night and all the birds, insects and wildflowers are coming out to enjoy the mild temperatures. We have been working hard in the garden, getting ready for a new season and eating the last of the winter cauliflowers before they run to seed.
All the beds and hugel mounds were deeply mulched with manure and straw from the goats house, and tremendous amount of weeds have been pulled out and fed to the animals. Every year the cycle between animals and garden is strengthened, one feeding and enriching the other, as well as feeding the compost pile which continues to reward us.
After waiting anxiously, and weeding diligently, for the last five months, the asparagus patch has begun bringing joy and amazement to all who visit the garden. At the base they are as thick as your thumb, at the top they sway gently in the breeze almost like underwater plants, This year we will not harvest any asparagus because we only planted them last year as one year old crowns purchased from the local garden store, Victoria’s. For now we just let the thick roots grow in size and strength and look forward to next year when we will finally get to eat!
Last but not least, March saw us implementing a plan that has been under development for almost three years and we are so excited to tell you all about it. Finally we were able to save up enough money to purchase our very own woodchipper (biotrituradora), an essential tool for managing our 8 acres of mature hardwood orchards. Fruit trees produce a huge amount of waste because of the constant pruning, and although we take as much as possible for our wood burner to keep us warm in the winter, there are still tons and tons of leaves, twigs, sticks and branches left over. Due to the need to keep the land clear, for the last two years we’ve followed the locals in burning our excess material and we’ve hated it every time. It felt like a betrayal of everything we stand for, and now we’re just so relieved to be able to turn that waste into our very own homemade organic hardwood woodchips!