Challenging year this one. It is 41 degrees out there right now. Not exactly fruit setting temperature. It will take all day for things to warm up. Will be cool until Saturday. Supposedly hot next week, but I think they are even leary about that. I will pull the shade cloth back off the greenhouse because we need every bit of sun and heat, but it did well not shocking baby plants when it turned hot last weekend. I have weird looking cucumbers with small necks then bigger bodies. I think they don't like all the variety of temperatures. Usually I am thinking of cobbler or pie for 4th of July with the boysenberries. It is often approaching 100 also, and we have barely hit 90. Oh El Nino, if you are going to stick around, I will have to think this whole thing through differently!
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Changes in our staff. Some going, some coming in the next two days. Then two more arrive later in the month. We have had fun. Many thanks Erica! 16 bags tomorrow, so back to work. Found my first striped cucumber beetle yesterday. I will have zero tolerance. Time to go mix some Pyganic and get to spraying any I see before they find a partner. Diamond Lake fishing for day off. Success for some first time catchers!
Monday, June 28, 2010
It is time to mow. The fields, though beautiful, will send unwanted weed seeds flying into the turned ground I haven't put the summer cover crop on. Everything is so late and a little confused. I believe I have made all the beds I plan to cultivate and take care of for this year. The open areas will be cover cropped, planted with a uniform planting that adds nutrients to the soil, shades out any weeds that would like to grow there, and prevents any erosion from rain or wind or severe drought. I want to keep those soil microbes happy. I think I am going to plant buckwheat and will buy seed this Thursday to do so.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Yard work today. Noxious weeds, star thistle and giant dandelion, removal from an old garden area and general disarray from blackberry vines, thistles, and an assortment of weeds taken out from below my little pond. Time to get them before they go to seed and propagate everywhere. My reward was relocating my long lost day lilies under the mess. They were happy to be rescued and plan to bloom soon.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Nice day, but as hot weather is coming this weekend, we put the shade cloth on the lowest, warmest greenhouse to protect some of the baby plants in there. As it cools off next week, I will peel it back off to keep the sun coming and the temperature up in there. Just don't want any plants to fry with 94 degrees air and possibility of 100 in there. Really seeing some growth. I may be sorry about where I placed the melons at the ends of the beds as they are sure to take up the entire area. The garlic is getting close to finished. They have that bedraggled look that watering doesn't change a bit. The one bulb I pulled has some definition of cloves and will finish swelling over the next week. I won't water the garlic beds anymore and let them harden up. It's amazing how they know we have had the longest day and are now prepared to finish.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
The potatoes are blooming. What I have heard is that each cluster of flowers is a potato, and each blossom in the cluster is an eye on that potato. I don't know if that is true or how the eyes can relate to the flowers, but I believe it anyway because that is just how amazing growing things can be. Think about each stamen on a raspberry flower being pollinated to form a single bubble of juice on the berry! Just wait until the corn has silk, boy oh boy, another story there!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Nice day, overcast, but warm. Weeding and tomato frameworks this AM and then afternoon at the lake with friends. Hot weather on the way this weekend, everything is going to love it. Just have to keep watering baby stuff. Corn is just coming up. Picked the first real zucchini, have had some little ones, but nothing substantial. This one was gettting ready to slip by me. Must be summer!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Yesterday, I came out of the greenhouse to find Hobbs, the garden dog, sitting with a small house wren. I realized by the feathers sticking straight up from his head , he was a baby. The mother was cussing the dog and now me from the bush below her house. This was a first flight experience and the little fellow landed in the dirt where the dog came to hang out with him. Remember, this is the dog who befriended a worm last week! After the usual talk about not keeping a wild animal as a pet, the little guy flew off to the safety of the thick honeysuckle bush where his mother waited working with several other siblings and their first departures. She had her hands full. Off to finish weeding the worst of the raspberry rows and then start another one. Might do some frameworking on the last of the tomatoes that don't have a framework yet. Also need a bed to transplant cabbage babies into. Supposed to be fairly warm today, but cloudy tomorrow. Helper #3 heads out today:(.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Summer Solstice! My helpers are trying to jam alot into the day including camping and smores later in honor of the longest day. Birthday/Father's Day party here yesterday with 40 friends and relatives. Enjoying leftovers and my clean yard today! Cleaned another section of raspberries this morning. One more section and then three other rows that need some weeding, but not like the rows we have completed already. Cleaned out snap pea fence and planted cucumbers in their place. They were prolific producers and I will miss them until fall. Greenhouse liking the warm weather today and through this week. All the plants will really put some growth on.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Grama Boot's Green Beans consists of green beans, potatoes, and a little bacon if you want. Basically you fry some potatoes with seasonings and/or in bacon pieces if you choose, until beginning to be soft, add water enough to cover, and snapped green beans. Cook for another while until beans are fully cooked and broth has absorbed flavor. The proportions of each can vary as to what you have; less beans, more potatoes, more beans, less potatoes, it doesn't matter. Add a pan of corn bread and you have a meal. Growing bush green beans in the greenhouse is worthwhile. They don't take too long, 55-60 days, no framewark is necesssary, and they don't sprawl too far from where they are planted. All in all a good return for the effort.
Friday, June 18, 2010
First thing in the morning is a special time to walk around the garden. The birds are busy, but otherwise it is quiet and peaceful. Bugs are caught napping on leaves, too cold to make it home. Bumblebees are asleep in flowers, too tired to fly on. There is no stress from a hot day, everything looks its best. It is my kingdom to become one with and enjoy for a few moments until I step back outside of its dominion to weed, water, and tend the needs of these plants. It is at this time I see things like a crown of dew drops on the edges of melon leaves.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Crater Lake visit was fun. Beutiful clear water made for nice reflection picture. Cold and still plenty of snow up there. Don't think I have ever gone at this time of year. Stopped by Natural Bridge on the way and though the river was raging, you could see the lava tube perfectly. Good day off, back to work tomorrow with 11 bags and lots of weeding to stay up on. Hoping for nice weather to sprout that corn!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Finally planted that corn today despite the rain and cool temperature, good for transplanting, though. Ah well, warmer days ahead should sprout the seed we planted with the baby starts. Planted areas or Sun and Stars, a bi-color, Supersweet Jubilee, a yellow corn, and How Sweet It Is, a white corn. Might try to slip in one more succession if the weather warms up in about a week to ten days. Getting tight on time though. Lots of help with planting and harvesting for bags today. Let me get other things together. Field trip tomorrow as a reward.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
One thing you can certainly say about these Wwoofers and Help Xchange folks that pass through my farm, stay for a bit, and chip in with whatever is on the docket that day; they do stop and smell the roses. They are all about the experience, and that makes me stop and look at what I have done in a much deeper, more satisfying way. It is all new to them, and they tend to renew my view also. Thanks to all of you, past and present for that gift!
Monday, June 14, 2010
Happy Flag Day! Another sunny day! Here in the Pacific Northwest we can count sunny days this spring on one hand, I think. Anyway, it is supposed to cloud up tomorrow, but no rain, just cooler. Weeded the raspberries, the worst row on the worst side. It is all downhill from here. We also put driplines on the three beds that had not received them yet. It always feels so good to me when I know they have their water lines in place. Might be planting corn this evening! We will plant the babies we started and some seeds at the same time. Then we will plant another succession in a couple weeks. Tomatoes are coming along, larger than billiard balls. There may be summer vegetables after all!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Nice 80 degree weather for the weekend. Will water like crazy and unscrew the side walls of the greenhouse. We have our plastic attached differently than most in that we have it attached at the bottom sides with lathe boards and at four feet up with springlock. This way we can remove the lathe and let the sides up for better air flow. This helps as the temps rise. We also use shade cloth to control the temperature some, but hate to limit the light too early especially when it has been so rainy. More help coming on Monday so we can tackle the weeds along the raspberries which now stand at over three feet tall!
Friday, June 11, 2010
A visitor to the pond today, a western pond turtle. Glad to see him there, basking in the sun. About once a year they come to the pond, but don't seem to stay. Hoping this will be the year he does. Otherwise, I guess they move off to the creek where they have more food and shelter. I snuck all the way around the back side of the pond through the tall grass to take this picture so he wouldn't jump in before I did. Came home with a rashy arm and a plugged nose which is still a little itchy. The grass pollen doesn't usually bother me. It must be terrible for some folks this year.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Cabbage Rolls for dinner tonight. Tonight's version consisted of a grilled veggie( small chopped bits of carrot, onion, squash, and celery), rice, parm cheese and egg stuffing with a little seasoned and watered down ketchup on top and grated cheese. Cooked them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. I used the outer leaves of this cabbage because they were so big and happy, but some more inner ones might have been more tender. Not bad, not bad...
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
12 bags and then off to town. Things are slowly getting started, but still a challenge to put 25 bags a week togather. I guess it is suppose to be hot this weekend, but rain before that. Just hope the warm weather can hang around long enough to make things grow.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
We weeded the strawberry patch today, three seventy foot rows. What a relief for me and the poor plants! Also tackled the long garlic row. It has been difficult to get these things done because of it being so wet and muddy. Looks so much better and the garlic is happy to have the room and air. For a break, we took the Texans to the top of our drainage. The snow had receded quite a bit from last weekend when we had visited the same area.
Monday, June 7, 2010
The sun has been out for the whole day so far. That is some kind of record! Now as I look around, everything looks like it wants a drink. We just had 2 1/2 inches two days ago! Took on the weeds in the asparagus this morning with the Texas gals. The weeds were about three feet tall on the top edge of the bed. Got drip lines on the clean bed and they are receiving water now. Looks very good. There are walla walla onions sizing up and the garlic is beginning to swell. Garlic is one of those diurnal crops that you plant in fall as the light is lessening from Labor Day to mid-October, and harvest after the longest day of summer on into July. So, they almost need no watering when the weather is as it has been. Hope that when it is ready we have dry weather to finish it off and make hard, long keeping bulbs. I grow a soft-neck type that keeps for the whole year. Just finishing up last year's garlic now. I have grown the same variety for years and I call it Blushing Silver. Territorial Seeds has seed garlic that sounds about the same and they call it Western Rose.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Some weeding and transplanting onions this morning. Yes, another kind of red onions went in. They will be late, but should still make it as long as they don't worry about their day length too much. Wonderful groovy disco party this afternoon with girlfriends. Great food and fun fellowship. Here is the first of many pictures of the Texas twosome working in the onions. Great gals!
Friday, June 4, 2010
When the tomato plants are about 12 inches high(or less), I like to put a stake next to each one. They seem to gain some confidence from the process, like, "Oh, there's my stake." As the plant continues to grow, leaning into the stake, I tie them together loosely in three or four places. When the plants are close to the top of the stake it is time to add the fencelike frameworks. You can see the downhill framework in place(with Hobbs tending his worm in the background).
So, while I worked on tomato frameworks with the interns, Hobbs, the garden dog, found a worm he befriended. He picked it up very gently and carried it from end of the row to another, setting it down, carefully, sliding all the dirt off as he did. He watched it slither and picked it up again, taking the worm to the next area we were working in. Don't worry, no worm was injured in the process, just cleaned.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Yes, yes, more rain. Ahh, but I think we may see a reprieve this weekend. I don't dare listen to the extended forcast, just happily dreaming of sun and the ability to till fields someday! Started corn in flats today for insurance. At least that way, I can get some started to put out in the field at some point. Planted some cabbgaes inside the coolest greenhouse because I don't have ground outside prepped to put them in. Also put the few last peppers I have and an eggplant in here and there, so less babysitting all the time. Have a few straggler tomatoes to find homes for and then I am done with plants in planters, except for the new corn, of course. What a year!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Lots of help today, so we attack more weeds than I thought would be annihilated in a week. Good crew, good conversation and good looking beds at the end. Separated those Fourth of July tomatoes from the peas. They look pretty scraggly, but will enjoy their new space. Harvested for 10 bags tomorrow and then taking Friday off to let things catch up and offer new selections, carrots, broccoli, and beans next week. More rain on the way. Hurumf!