Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Quick Garden Update

We are in the middle of harvesting and selling and this weekend we start canning. Its a great time of year and there is nothing finer than going out into your garden and harvesting something for dinner.

The corn patch. Its coming along but again due to the weather its later than we expected.

We planted an heirloom variety called "Country Gentleman" which is a super sweet white shoe peg variety and I am not real happy with it. We got spotty germination and it seems to be rooting kind of shallow so its prone to blow down but we will see.

We have sunflowers all over the farm, some planted like these on the edge of the corn patch and others deposited through bird seed and they all seem to thrive.

This type has a red flower and multiple heads per plant but wont give us much in the way of seeds.

We have baby sweet watermelons coming along like this one as well as passion melons, cantaloupe, butternut squash, lemon squash, pumpkins and gourds.

I mentioned last year that we almost cut down these small trees that we thought were weeds until we were informed they were Mulberry bushes. They are loaded with berries and we have found a few more so we may try some type of jam with them.

We have Day Lillies all over and though some have been in bloom for about a month our bigger Day Lilly gardens are just now blooming. Once the bloom is off we will divide this garden and greatly extend it.

The terraced planters we built this spring have done very well and we now have the wood for the third segment. This problematic slope looked barren to us before so we are happy with the outcome.

And speaking of sun flowers, look at the size of this one. Same variety as the ones by the corn patch but this one has the benefit of being in a raised bed and a much more fertile soil mixture.
We have enough cucumbers to make pickles but they seem to be hot sellers so we haven't been keeping to many. We have both green cucumbers and a yellow variety and of course no one wants the yellow ones (even though they taste great) so we will probably use those to can pickles and relish. Lesson learned.

Beets, onions, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, peppers, and mustard greens in this shot.

We find Broccoli hard to grow here and we aren't sure why. We do have some but they don't seem to be the big robust florette's we envisioned so we will replant for the fall garden in a month or so.

This mild weather hasn't helped ripen the tomatoes which need warm evenings and hot days to ripen. Last night, as in the night of 1 Jul, it was 54 degrees here which was a record low. We are still enjoying it though and we know the tomatoes will ripen soon.

We also planted an heirloom variety of sweet peas and again had spotty germination but they have finally come on and are very popular with customers who seem to prefer to come and pick their own. So far, they have been so popular in fact that we haven't gotten to eat any ourselves let alone can any. Another crop we are expanding for the fall garden.

We planted a few zucchini plants thinking it would mostly be just for us as we like breaded zucchini fries (with Parmesan cheese on top right out of the fryer) and we like to use the blossoms for various dishes but we have been selling the heck out of them in the store we contract with...who knew?

The cabbages have done well this year and are steady sellers. We will have enough to make saur kraut but our efforts last year was an epic fail so we aren't sure we even want to try. In the mean time we enjoy a lot of cole slaw!

We sell a lot of beets, we eat a lot of beets, and we are canning beets this weekend. In fact, a couple nights ago we made Borscht in the Ukrainian fashion..good eats. We also grow and sell two varieties of carrots and they are super sweet. We like to actually harvest them a little smaller and then either lightly steam them or use them raw in salads and as an edible garnish.

The sweet onions have been very successful and we sell them as fast as they are harvested but we also like to use them ourselves. They are sweet enough for an onion sand which...and I am not kidding.

And finally for this post, our experiment with growing potatoes in the tires we had in the barn has been a qualified success. They matured earlier (due to the extra heat) than the potatoes that are still in the conventional rows but the limited space they had didn't allow them to reach their full potential. These are Yukon Golds and they too are big sellers but we also really enjoy them so its a struggle to part with them! They are a soft skin potato that is very creamy and I can make a meal just eating them with a little butter and salt.
So that is what is happening on the farm garden wise. We work every day selling, harvesting and of course tending to the plants which in my case means weeding. We don't use herbicides in the food gardens and weeding is accomplished by hand or with a weed eater (works pretty good actually) and we just tolerate a certain amount of weeds and don't get too wrapped up in it. But you cant let it go, if we skip a couple days of weeding it goes wild in a hurry.

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