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Monday, June 15, 2009

Fencing and De-Fencing

This week was busy as well on the farm. We are preparing to plant our "big" crop (i.e. most acres) of buckwheat. John and I feel a real calling and passion to grow food. Last year we grew food-grade yellow flax and this year we are growing buckwheat. I've never grown buckwheat before so I'm excited for this new venture! In order to seed our crop land as one piece, John and I had to tear down about a 1/4 mile of barb wire fence and the corresponding steel T posts. I really dislike barb wire fence, I classify it as a "scourge of the prairie", right up there with Chinese Elm trees. An evening and a morning were spent rolling up wire and lifting out posts. Of course, it looks great now! And the T posts came in handy when I had to put up some fencing. I've put up and repaired a lot of fence in my day, mostly electric and woven wire. My dad taught me the basics of fence assembly and maintenance at an early age. And as a dealer of electric fence, we had to be good at getting it working and holding in cows, sheep, pigs, goats, etc. But this week, I wasn't fencing in someone...I was fencing up something!

Traditionally, in our family garden back in the day, the peas were just allowed to flop over and crawl hither and yon. Which made for trying times for the pea pickers. Now that I have my own garden, there is no willy-nilly pea growth! Oh, no! If I'm recruiting my husband as chief pea picker, working conditions have to be top-notch. And that means peas growing vertically up the fence. Last year he asked if there could be a bit more space between the rows to maneuver his pea-picking-bin and I obliged this year. I aim to keep the chief pea picker (and pea eater) happy!

Now, my rancher friends would laugh at my fencing, it wasn't stretched, there are no corner posts or even corners! But it will get the job done!

If you look back a couple of posts, you'll see the peas just breaking the ground. Right now they're about 6-8 inches high and starting to "climb", which means they are growing tendrils that want to wrap around something above it. It was the perfect time to put up the fence. Leaving a gap at the bottom allows for pulling of weeds that manage to get in right next to the plants.

Right next door to the pea patch are the onions. WOW, do they look wonderful! I mulched them with grass clippings and that has really helped retain moisture and slow weed growth.

As far as other vegetables go, the heat we've had the past three days and the moisture predicted for this week will go a long way in growing those little plants. All of the cold crops are up! I'm still waiting on some of the warm crops like sweet corn, melons, squashes and cucumbers. These seeds like it hot and wet so they should be popping out of the ground any day now! The potatoes look wonderful, I'm about two thirds of the way through hoeing them. I planted them closer together this year so that they will shade out a lot of the weeds. In my big plan, I should only have to hoe them two, maybe three times.

1 comment:

  1. I think it's cool that you are growing a more non-traditional crop like buckwheat. I bought buckwheat flour for the first time several months ago and made some delicious buckwheat pancakes. I also purchased a book with many buckwheat flour recipes. I have tried a few and they were really good. If you're interested it's called True Grist: Buckwheat Flour and Cornmeal Recipes. Yum! Looking forward to the next few weeks and our first CSA delivery! Melisa


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