Saturday, July 31, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
The end of the month and it seemes like we are just getting going on summer, for some reason. I guess the delay the weather caused has me thinking it is the end of June instead of July. Cooler weekend sounds good as I am planning to ignore the garden for a couple days. The last bean harvest for these girls. My raspberry picking accomplice will remain to save my butt. I have great neighbors who know where the good food is.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Farewell party, weeding, and grandchild keep a farmer busy. I have a good life, just very hectic at times, well, most of the time. May take a blogging break this weekend, not sure, but don't worry, just might actually not be farming or by a computer, we'll see.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
21 bags out the door today. That is definitely the max ability for this farm at this time. Thankful for help from Woofer girls and neighbor friend. Makes it easier for me, though I will be fending for myself soon, maybe, I fear. Last Wed. for the girls before they are off to school, friends, and the rest of their lives. I will still be right here, farming! Rendered some cilantro seed(coriander) that had finished drying. Again, it is more than I need for a year, but comforting to know I have it.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
A trip to the redwoods and coast yesterday. Last hurrah for visiting helpers who head out this weekend. New recruits come in on Monday, stay tuned...Redwoods were impressive as always. What can I say, it is hard to take a picture to express their grandeur. Found a bit of beach so we could stick our toes in the Pacific. Very nice and polished stones, too! Good reprieve, though we missed the lightning event here. No rain or hail damage, so that is good.
Monday, July 26, 2010
The netting is definitely working for the strawberries. It is a pain to pick them what with uncovering and covering again. So far there hasn't been any trouble with pollination, but I think when I pick on Wednesday, I will leave them open for awhile, just in case. Almost time to put out yellow jacket traps. Those waspish bees will eat both strawberries and raspberries. By making traps early, I can definitely hold back the numbers. More about traps soon. The Sudan grass is up and flourishing. This picture is a day and a half old, so I can already see it is way taller now. The melons are very happy with the hot temps. The challenge is to make the circle hooking up drip lines and keeping everyone watered when they are growing so quickly. Luckily the onions and potatoes are just about done, so not watering them.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Hot Day!!!Melons are loving it. Nothing looks too dry except for maybe the buckwheat which was denied water while I was getting the Sudan grass cover crop sprouted. It has and now a little water now and then will create an incredible amount of organic matter to turn into the soil. Worked on topping the first onions and getting them to the cooler. THRIVE, a Rogue Valley non-profit committed to local business, has started an online marketplace. I may try my abundance of walla wallas there. Taking it easy this afternoon and then to a friend's guitar fest this evening. Think cool thoughts.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Harvest for 13 bags, plenty of berries and at least a tomato for all. There will be a break in beans which probably won't hurt anyone's feelings. The helpers harvested one row of Walla-Walla type onions and put them on a screen to finish drying. There is a row and some still to go, but all in good time. Then it's the Red Torpedos next. Tried planting some spinach today even though it will no doubt bolt with the heat, but with row cover -maybe. Last cantaloupe seed went in for an off chance we could have late melons in the greenhouse. Mostly it depends on how wet it gets. Restful afternoon as girls do delivery by themselves! Row of tomatoes are the ones from third year seed I have been saving from a hybrid I like. I know I have a small gene pool to pick from, but last year I had a couple plants I was very proud of and did not purchase the seed from some giant company. Almost time for Boysenberries, YUM!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Bags went well, 17 today with raspberries and the first tomatoes. Put more netting over the strawberries as I am convinced it is the foxes who are now reeking havoc on the production of any ripe, red berries. I am happy with how the winter squash is growing. I have never grown Buttercup, and I also have Acorn, Butternut, and our standard , Delicata. It will be fun to have them piled up in baskets this fall. We have many walla wallas to harvest tomorrow and potatoes during this next week. Hot weekend and thunderstorms ahead.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Ah, progress! Finally I am seeing the production I have been working toward all spring. I hope that the weather and bugs will cooperate for the rest of the season and all is up from here. Septic thing was purely mechanical, so that was good. Harvest some for bags tomorrow and then go for a short hike on The Rogue River Trail to Takelma Gorge, a narrow right turn that the entire river takes. Cooler start to a hot day.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Woke up to a septic alarm. For those who have municipal sewers, we have our own system and tank here and if for some reason it isn't working it has an alarm much like a smoke detector that goes off. This high whistle made the dog howl which worked to alert us also. Not sure what it is all about, but it certainly got our attention. Lots planned for today with a little of this and that including harvesting a bed of walla walla type onions and bending another bed's onion tops down by dragging the back of a rake across them. We will weed the strawberries and as a reward pick the ones now ripe since the big squirrel relocation project. We planted Sudan grass in a couple new areas, so we will get a good watering on the seed today as it will be cooler for three days. Also have some baby plants to transplant and I think I will throw shade cloth over them to help shade them as they get use to their new digs. Maybe harvest some of the potatoes that are finished as test digging showed yesterday. All in all another busy farm day!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
The digger squirrels are relentless. They have continued to climb under the netting I put over the strawberries and eat the red ones before they are all the way ripe. They have been seen running out of the greenhouses upon our arrival and I have not seen our usual share of hawks that helped me last year with this situation. SO...we bought the Squirrelenator, a four way trap that live traps up to 20 at a time although we have only trapped two at a time so far. We also have a small Have-A-Heart set up. The count has gone up to eleven squirrels trapped and released at a nearby waste area by the creek a few miles from the garden. There are still more and several other places to trap them. Old lumber piles seem to be the preferred home, so don't leave those by your garden as we have. Still hoping to built that "shed" for tools, etc. at some point. Resting this hot afternoon with our not so squirrel hunter.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Harvest went well with a better bag than Wednesday's as the berries come in. CSA folks received carrots, lettuce or spinach, a cucumber, a tray of berries, walla walla onions,and green beans. Some received a squash, and others got a small bag of basil. Hot weather to ease off a bit at the beginning of next week. We may be able to get some things transplanted into beds that I have started; bok choy, nappa cabbge, broccoli, and lettuce. In the meantime, corn, melons, and winter squash have enjoyed the hot temps.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Another busy day. Organized drip irrigation parts, took out weeds and berry vines that were challenging our walkway, and cleaned up the paths in the greenhouses. Planted one last melon area in the greenhouse in case we get a long autumn. Afternoon drive to Bald Ridge was beautiful if not much cooler than the valley's heat. Late night, early morning tomorrow. Pictures soon. Good night!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Harvest day went well. Skimpy berries, but otherwise well. I am hoping by next week, things will be well on their way and I don't have to fret about production until November! So far the cucumber beetles have been slow to show. I am not sure if the cool Spring, use of Neem, or good predator bugs is the reason, but it is nice not to be losing a battle against bugs and spending precious time spraying everyday. Now watch, they will show up. The Red Torpedo onions are getting huge. I hope they have sweet flavor at first. The red onions often do, and then get hotter and more oniony as the summer progresses. Need to pull and eat one soon.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Despite the fact I have 18 bags going out tomorrow, a list a page long of to-do's in the garden, and hotter weather on the way, we went and picked cherries today. We ended up with 64 pounds! Now I am madly canning and drying and trying to think who else I can trade some off to! We are cherry rich. There are so many, I am not even eating them anymore...
Monday, July 12, 2010
Busy day. Worked on onion area where the weeds had overtaken the paths. As snake season approaches with hot weather and watered areas of the garden, I like to see the ground where I am stepping. We weeded between the beds where the onions are getting huge. Then we weeded some baby carrots and the latest bean planting. Then worked on the boysenberry patch, pulling the short branches up to the fence with cordage. We went swimming in the creek and returned to work on garlic braids. I am going out to plant cilantro, beans again, and another row of beets which didn't come in too well this last planting. PHEW!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Day off with a variety of farm visitors. The buckwheat is sprouting in places! It looks like radishes. I am glad it is going to make it as the hot weather made it difficult to keep watered. We have been pestered by foxes at night the last few. Maybe they enjoy coming out to play in the cooler evenings. There have been two sightings at twilight and lots of barking in the night which drives the garden dog crazy. I am sorry to say the foxes may be smarter than he is. They bark a sort of strangled dog bark and he heads there. The fox has moved off from there to another place and barks at the new location which is where the dog heads only to hear a bark at a new location. It is a good game for foxes, and a total drag for the guard dog...
Friday, July 9, 2010
Hot day, but got work done early, so not as bad as trying to work into the middle of the day. Harvested one bed of garlic, not the best soil, but did OK. I think the other bed with sand added will be better. Will work to clean up and grade the different sizes of the bulbs. I stick the dinky ones aside for much later, save the biggest for seed for next year, and braid some of the medium size ones. The garlic I grow is a middle of the road variety, not a bunch of different ones, just an early white with a pink blush. It is garlicy enough without being hot or spicy. What I really like is how well it keeps; managed to have enough cloves from last year to make it until this year's crop has cured, finished drying. It was planted in late September/ early October. My husband, Sherm, is the tractor guy!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I am very excited about how this whole blog thing has progressed. Initially I felt I was writing my garden journal on a wall, more or less to and for myself. In just a short time, it has changed. I have had conversations by blog with folks from Tennessee, California, Washington, upstate Oregon, England, Malaysia, and now Michigan. Welcome all who follow anonymously also. I hope my enthusiasm for gardening has infused fellow gardeners with the endurance needed, ha-ha, and given some insight into my busy world to others. Blogging has certainly improved my attitude!
I feel a little like I am in a holding pattern with the bulk of the crops about to come on (tomatoes, peppers, berries) or out (garlic, walla wallas, cabbages). I am approaching the point where the garden changes from the beautiful lush growing green to fruiting with sadder looking plants, beds with onions missing here and there, potatoes fading from a blooming hedge to a drying pile, and flowers spent and in need of dead heading. It is the productive time if not the most beautiful. In only another month I will be thinking of my fall garden which I will be starting to make decisions for soon. As something comes out, something else goes in. We had thunder around and enough rain to help moisten those buckwheat seeds, never did see lightning which is fine with me in a wildfire area.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Here is a view of this morning's harvest. We picked a few things yesterday,but for the most part, this is all freshly going into the bags in an hour! Also, a picture from replanting poor sowing of corn. Hope there is enough time to ripen! My shadow is long due to the glancing rays of the summer sun. I think it would be the longest just before sunset on the solstice, but as of July 6th, it is still Texan in size.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Planted the buckwheat in the open weedless areas. A couple places have weeds and need to be retilled, and a couple places I may still plant other things in. Now, to add water. Making T-tube hoses to get water out to the edges. Have one more to make and then I will be able to reach everywhere the buckwheat is planted. Supposed to be hot all week, so hopefull can get enough water on their hard little triangle shaped seeds to sprout...Will till in when flowering or before if I tease up too may weeds. Either way, the soil microbes will benefit from the decaying organic matter. Buckwheat provides phosphorus as it rots, which is great for flowers, fruit setting, basic health and disease resistance of plants.
Monday, July 5, 2010
So I thought the first tomato was going to be that grape tomato which is steadily ripening and fully pink now, but not quite ready. I also see that a volunteer the size of a slicer that I left in the aisle way is turning yellowish. But no, the winner is...a small SunGold cherry thst was hiding in the upper greenhouse. It is certainly one of the first plants I planted and it gets extra credit because it survived the "bad soil disaster", one of the few that did.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Another birthday party, but this time for a one year old. He was the most gentle one year old cake eater I have ever witnessed, but then all in all, he is a mellow guy. Purchased buckwheat seed and threatening to plant the rest with some bean seed I have for cover crop. I will do anything to block weeds, well almost anything. Happy 4th tomorrow, going to try to be independent from the garden, ha-ha.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Good harvest and bag delivery. Things are really taking off now. I have several new customers signing up for program as soon as there is enough produce. Now, if the weather does what it says it will next week, then all will be well. I saw a pink grape tomato today. Granted it is only one grape size tomato, don't fry any bacon yet, but at least it lets me know they are thinking about it. I also picked a bell pepper that was one of five and about to be forever stuck in the middle of the plant. Quite exciting. Also, when I went to pick the cucumber I knew was there, I found 4 more! All in all, a happy day in the garden. The picture is a baby honey dew melon. It is fuzzy like a baby bird.