PLENTY SUMMER 2020 | Page 20

tric deer fencing and our plantings expanded to include perennial native plants for landscape architecture clients. We inoculated mushroom logs and placed them in the woods. We also started curating flower meadows on the property to create habitat for insects and birds (and start limiting the space that needs mowing). One day, we dream of having only a small patch of mowed grass for playing and backyard grilling but the remainder of the site in crops, chicken pasture, gardens, and trees. For now, we still spend a lot of time on the mower. As with the start of every new season, we set our sights high on what we will be able to achieve. We tilled and planted cover crops to double the size of the vegetable garden and welcomed four more Below: Ducks and goose exploring the garden; Bobby after helping with neighbor’s goat delivery. ducklings, one gosling, and ten new chicks to the farmstead. We have more seedlings ready than we’ll be able to plant. We are hoping that our perennials will come back and out compete the weeds this year and provide food and habitat to wildlife. We are eager to continue improving our process to turn the summer’s bounty into value-added treats: spice peppers into smoked spice blends, fruits and herbs into jams, and dent corn into cornmeal and tortillas. We are also on a search for the best varieties of garlic that grow vigorously here, store well for the season, and still let Allison make garlic braids. When we work outside or sit inside dreaming about the future of our farmstead, we are delighted by the flight of the bluebirds who call our property home. They help us by eating the insects in the garden and, more importantly, they are a symbol of joy and happiness for us now and in our plans for the future. Our near term vision for the farmstead is to grow a meaningful amount of the food we need for our family, with some to share with family and friends, while at the same time serving as a model and experimental hub for clients of our landscape architecture business. As we look to the future, we are eager to grow enough food and plants to sell and share with our community. But first, we dig into the 2020 season and all it has to teach us at Bluebird Farmstead. Bobby and Allison Tjaden are co-owners of Bluebird Farmstead LLC, just outside Laytonsville MD. Bobby is the owner of Tjaden Design Associates, LLC Landscape Architects. Allison works at the University of Maryland, College Park promoting healthy & local food, sustainability, wellness, and student engagement. Learn more and contact them at 20 plenty I Summer growing 2020