April Recap: Early Spring Projects and Milestones at the Yurt

Here’s a recap of what’s happened at the yurt over the last month.

March 30: Started cutting trees for next winter’s firewood. Mainly black birches so far.

March 31: Planted genovese basil, cherry tomatoes, paste tomatoes, and medium-heat peppers. All seeds from High Mowing.

April 7: Cut fourth birch tree so far.

birch tree for firewood
Henry is a good boy.

April 7: The basil sprouted.

April 7: Built four new raised beds, 5×3 each.

April 10: Both types of tomatoes sprouted.

tomato, basil starts, rosemary plants
Basil, tomato, and rosemary.

April 10: Cut beech logs for shiitake mushroom plug spawn. Ordered the 100-count plug spawn from North Spore Mushroom Company.

beech logs for growing shiitake mushrooms _ that yurt
Beech logs for shiitake inoculation.

April 11: Burned a big brush pile of stuff leftover from last year, and the canopies from the trees I’ve cut so far this year.

April 11: Ordered four cubic yards of topsoil-compost mix for delivery for the new raised beds.

April 13: Dug a new in-ground garden bed.

April 13: First day we hear the peepers making their ruckus.

April 14: Bought two raspberry plants from our local Agway and planted them. One is a Caroline Red and the other is a Polana, both self-pollinating and hardy down to zones 3 and 4. Also got some fish and seaweed fertilizer to try out (Neptune’s Harvest, 2-3-1).

April 14: Bought two small rosemary starts from Walker Farm and potted them, so that we can bring them inside when it gets cold and hopefully overwinter them.

April 16: Inoculated one beech log with the 100 shiitake plugs.

April 16: Ordered more plug spawn from North Spore. Oyster mushrooms this time, and 500 of them.

April 18: Inoculated nine poplar logs with the oyster plugs.

inoculating poplar log for oyster mushrooms
Annie drilling holes for the oyster plug spawn in a poplar log.

April 19: Spot our first spotted salamander, which is unfortunately dead.

April 21: Spot our first red eft, which is thankfully alive and well. Move said eft from the road.

red eft on the road in putney vermont april 2019
The red eft.

April 21: Finish the oyster inoculation process by sealing all 500 plugs with melted wax, and then setting up the “mushroom farm.”

inoculated logs with oyster mushroom spawn propped up behind That Yurt
Poplar logs inoculated with oyster spawn, waiting to colonize and then fruit.

April 22: Bought 12 cabbage starts and two blue lupines from Walker Farm. Planted the lupines.

And the month continues apace!