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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Plants are busting out all over

I am very excited to report that we have seedlings! There is always a moment (or two or three) of anxiety "Oh no, nothing is coming up! It all rotted in the ground!" And just when I start to really wonder, ok, and maybe worry...here come the shoots. So far we have radishes, peas, spinach, lettuces, kale and potatoes poking out of the ground. The first picture is the peas poking out of the ground and the second is radishes. Just 29 days until the first radishes!!

Of course, the plants like tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and eggplant are in the ground. These plants had a touch of transplant shock, but with some water and a little TLC, I think most will make it through the transition. It hasn't helped having strong winds the past 2 days. But the plants are close enough to the ground that they shouldn't snap off. The tomatoes are in their little jugs, at least until the wind dies down.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Boy, have we been busy!

Traditionally, I blog about the farm on Mondays. But this Monday, Memorial Day, we spent with family and celebrated a much belated Christmas! It had rained during the night, so it made a perfect "garden vacation day". But it was back to work on Tuesday, Wednesday and today and did we get stuff done! Our niece was here for two days and worked like a slave, what a big help she was! We got 50 tomato and another 50 pepper plants in the ground this evening to wrap up three days of hard work. There are just a few things left to go in the gardens that I will finish up this weekend. But the vast majority of seeds and plants are in the ground.

Another project that I have been wanted to do has been to move an old wringer washer out of a junk pile and into the edge of our "yard" (and I use that term loosely on purpose) to welcome people to our place. So, with super-helpful niece here, we got that heavy thing moved and into place. The plan is to plant wave petunias in the tub and let them trail over the sides. Here are some photos of the washer and the view of the lake as you come down our long driveway:

I just had to share a picture of my daughter and grandma's new baby kitties. She has never seen kittens before, only our farm cat "Raisin". She's having fun each time she plays with them, I'm not sure if the kittens are having as much fun...

Monday, May 18, 2009

My new best friend

Here is a photo of my new best friend, my Earthway Garden Seeder! (And, of course, the beautiful little garden assistant who posed with the seeder.)

What a fantastic tool! My husband gave it to me for Christmas and today I used it for the first time. I planted twelve 50 foot rows of peas in under 20 minutes!!! It opens the row, plants the seed, closes the row and marks the next row all at once. All I have to do is push it! This is a wondrous invention and I nominate whoever came up with it for the Nobel Prize for Gardening. It is especially wonderful for the pregnant woman with a 7 month baby belly! I have found only one fault, in hurricane force winds (like today) the light seeds like lettuce will blow out of the seed cup. But I blame this problem more on geography than on seeder design and operation. The heavy pea seeds were perfect. I'll see what tomorrow morning brings for wind to complete the cold crops!

I also tilled quite a bit today in preparation for the planter. Do you know how fun it is to till when you have a pint sized cheerleader sitting in the middle of the garden? She would yell and laugh and clap her hands whenever I passed her with the tiller. I'm so thankful she loves to be outside and in the dirt as much as her mother does! Here's a photo of her playing with her rocks...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Onions, Garlic...Tulips? check, Check, and CHECK!

Here are my little onion seedlings, literally hundreds of them. I lost count! There are both white and red varieties including: Walla Walla, Mars, Red Zeppellin, Sweet Spanish and Copra. Growing up we always planted onion "sets", the dried bulbs. But last year I tried seedlings and had such wonderful (and early!) onions that I was hooked. I can't wait for the first green onion to grace my omelet!! The garlic is a regular, soft-necked garlic. I don't plant garlic in the fall as I tend to lose some over the winter, even with mulching. Plus, this way the garlic is ready when my pickling cucumbers are! I also use the green garlics just like green onions...stems and all! They taste wonderful in the aforementioned omelets, salads and sprinkled over pasta!

Just when I had given up hope of seeing my tulips...here they are! I think they were just waiting for a grand entrance of some kind. There should be a wide variety of colors and even some parrot tulips (my favorite!).

Last week I attended a workshop on having a great booth at the farmers market. It was great!! A lot of the stuff I knew (and try to practice) and I learned some new things as well. Like having theme to my booth. I'm not a funny hat or costume wearer so I don't think I'll go that far. However, some unifying elements is not out of the realm of possibility! (Some people may think that having a newborn in my booth each year could be a theme...certainly not an intentional one, but one nonetheless!) In case you didn't know: baby #1 just turned 1 and baby #2 is due in late July, prime market time. Like his sister, he'll have to get used to sleeping outside in the stroller while mom tills or picks produce.

Hopefully Wednesday we can get a majority of the cold season crops in the ground like lettuces, peas, carrots, spinach, radishes, etc. I wanted to seed today but we had a beautiful rain shower, just what my potatoes, onions and garlic needed!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Potatoes? CHECK!

All 60 pounds of seed potatoes have been planted. The last 20 were courtesy of my beloved husband who planted them while I was at school on Monday. I planted 20 pounds each of three varieties: Viking (red), Pontiac (red) and a Gold Russet (white). With some sunshine and warm weather, they should be popping out of the ground pretty soon.

The tiller has been tuned up and is ready to go, maybe tomorrow or Thursday I'll till a section of the middle garden and put in the onions and garlic. I also need to plant my rhubarb! Then on to the cool season crops like the greens and peas. The yard is drying out nicely and the garden soil looks wonderful. John couldn't believe how great the soil feels where we put the potatoes. Each shovel-full of dirt had at least a handful of earthworms already busy turning that organic matter into more rich soil.

I'm still waiting for my tulips to appear. I planted 60+ bulbs last fall and am practically staring a hole into the ground waiting for them to come up. Wasn't there a saying, "the watched tulip got eaten by a deer"?