When we started the Useful Gardens website, I promised that I would share the progress of our gardens here at the farm in Blackwater, just to give everyone some basis for comparison (good and bad) and a jump-off point for your own garden planning.
Well, here is this spring's first crisis. The kerosene heater we used to the hoop house warm to protect the lettuce and greens malfunctioned during the night. When we came out the next morning to turn it off, the greenhouse interior looked like the inside of a chimney - solid black, greasy soot. Over everything. Luckily the young plants had been covered by sheets for extra protection and were not coated. As soon as the weather warmed, the plants went outside and I tackled the first stage of the cleanup, removing the inside layer of poly sheeting so badly coated with soot. I stopped midway and took this photo, figuring that you might enjoy (ha!) seeing the mess I had to contend with. The clear plastic visible is the outer layer of a (formerly) bi-layer insulation. The black streaks are on the inner layer, now being removed. The mess is everything I tossed onto tables and out of the way.
Now, surely this is going to make someone feel better about whatever discouraged them in the garden this month.