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Homesteading and Wild Food Foraging Under the Poplar Moon: May To-Do List

| 5/2/2016 10:33:00 AM

Here in the Appalachian Mountains the risk of frost wanes, and the heat of midday begins to creep into the mornings and evenings. The cool nights of spring are slowly being replaced with heat, with rolling sheets of thunder, with lightning that ripples across the sky.

As the days stretch closer to their full summer length, we are welcomed to sow directly into the warming ground. We are invited to harvest from the woods, which are coming to life with new abundance. Now, we step into the light of the growing season, and we plant beneath the poplar moon!

On the homestead, in the forest, in the orchard, there is much to do in the month of May. Here is a guide to help you sow your garden beds, to help you harvest, and to help you connect with the power of this unfolding season. Keep in mind that these activities were created based on the Southern Appalachian bioregion.

This guide was created by the life experiences of Natalie Bogwalker, the founder of Wild Abundance and the Firefly Gathering, who is dedicated to teaching people how to connect and work with the land. This guide also includes contributions from permaculture teachers and plant enthusiasts Chloe Lieberman and Zev Friedman.

Natalie & nettles

Annual Garden Preparations

• Make “tea” out of woods nettles and/or stinging nettles to apply to crops as a fertilizer/mineral supplement
• Plant squash, gourds and cucumbers in 4 or 6” pots very early in the month, then plant out in garden later in month.
• Plant New Zealand spinach, green beans (first sowing, thereafter you can plant them every 2-4 weeks until mid July for a prolonged harvest)
• Transplant out tomatoes, basil, peppers into garden
• Sow field corn (stagger sowings based on length of season needed and to avoid different varieties cross breeding)
• Select good-looking, medium sized sweet potatoes from last year to “slip out,” or secure a source for sweet potato slips
• Sow sunflowers (for beauty and/or seeds), repeat every 2-4 weeks until mid-July for continuous flowering
• Plant dill (repeat every 2-4 weeks for continued harvest and to make sure you have dill when it’s time to pickle cucumbers and beans)

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