Thursday, July 30, 2009

Seeding and Weeding

Cosmic Purple carrots, Pronto red beets and Touchstone Gold beets are seeded.
This lovely savoy cabbage will be in someone's CSA share tomorrow.
Jersey Wakefield cabbage has a funny looking pointed head, not at all round.
The bees, both Bumble and Honey, love the flowers which is one reason we grow them.
The fluffy Teddy Bear types are among my favorites.
More cukes are coming, Satsuki and National Pickling.
A tomatilla fruit, will be ready for harvest when the husk splits open.
Italian Pole beans, this year with hefty support.

This last two weeks have alternated between a steam bath and a steam bath with thunderstorms. Yup, July's calling card in Pennsylvania is Humidity Plus. The rain is a blessing as stuff was getting bone dry. Copious amounts of weeds got flail mowed today in anticipation of tomorrow's potato harvest. Trying to dig root crops under a 2 foot blanket of thistles is pure
prickly frustration. Seeding is back on track with beans, cukes, greens, and herbs.

Max stepped on a bee today. ouch! The lawn has so much clover it is hard to not step near a bee!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Few Pics

French Fingerlings with their gorgeous centers.
My beloved Max getting a "drive by" hug.
Nepeta loaded with hundreds, maybe thousands of bees. Their humming is LOUD!
Aaron and Grace taking a break.
Imperial Star artichokes.
Lovely lopes.
A new crop of savoy cabbage Testa di Ferro.
Royal burgundy is a bush bean. Sad but true, they turn green when cooked.
Sunflowers are heavily reseed themselves. These guys appeared all on their own.
This section of the garden has tremendous Lambsquarter and thistle pressure so I mulched with straw and so far it is keeping the bed clean.
All self seeded cherry toms from last years tunnel crop! They have gone a bit crazy.
A wonderful surprise gift from a CSA member-delicious zucchini bread, thank you for such a treat. I used to bake everyday. Ha! no time for such a luxury these days.

It rained Friday night-finally after weeks of nothing. The crops are desperate for a drink. With rain forecasted for this evening, tomorrow and Wednesday, they should get a deep soak.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Confession

Cucumber, Zuke, scallion, garlic and fresh basil with generous amounts of olive oil and Balsamic.
Copenhagen chopped for slaw. Dressed with good ol' PA German recipe-mayo, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.

Ah, time to come clean on a food fact: I have not tasted everything I grow..........WHAT!!??? Yes, it is true. Let me explain. Many nights I do not get home from the plot till 10:00. I am usually bone tired, extremely dirty and sweaty, am facing a mess in the kitchen and still need to check my mail etc. Cooking anything is out of the question.

Soooooooo.............when I harvest a new crop, in this case Copenhagen Cabbage I will probably pack the CSA before I have a chance to taste. Today I stayed home to put out numerous domestic fires. Take your pick: 2' weeds in the front yard, a small mountain of laundry, atrocious kitchen floor, blah, blah, blah. Anyway I brought home a CSA share that was not picked up on Saturday and proceeded to make some stuff. Happily, everything was quite good.

This is the first year I have tried growing cabbage. The Copenhagen variety was delicious. During Friday picking I was dismayed to find tiny slugs all through the row. So many outer leaves had to be stripped, leaving this forlorn looking green ball. I thought the CSA members would be disappointed. This is an excellent cabbage, with a small core. I will be sowing some more for a Fall crop. Do any members disagree?

Artichokes are the next taste test.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Trellis Help

New trellises are up thanks to the muscles of three men. We worked 2 days last week getting 4x4 posts set for 100' of grape vines. Next up tomato staking with Hortonova netting attached. This job is at least 4 weeks overdo. That timing thing!

Weeding got tackled using "The Beast". I don't like wrestling with a tiller but it does the best job. I desperately need to get direct seeding. The only way the seeder works is if the bed is rock and weed free.

Garlic was dug Friday night for Saturday's market. Probably only one more digging and I will be able to plant a new crop, probably beans. That bed was very weedy and it will be a relief to get it clean. Potatoes are ready for digging this Friday. Flowers and herbs are also on the Friday harvest list.
I'll post pics later.

Friday, July 3, 2009


A very obnoxious Pigweed taking over sunflowers, which are taking over potatoes.
Savoy cabbage, a favorite.
Costata Romanesco zuke.
Heirloom Tomato
Compost must meet temperature regulations before use, otherwise it must be used according to raw manure rules.
Brian is delivering a load of straw. Maybe we can get control of our weeds with a good hoeing (bulldozing????) and thick application of straw mulch.
This young CSA member enjoys sunflowers. It did not work having her hold a sunflower since they are bigger than her face, and heavy too!
I'm not sure how much coleslaw this lady eats................certainly not as much as this cabbage will produce.

We had quite a week. Lots of work and visitors. Aaron and I really appreciated this family's time at the farm. It was very embarrassing for me due to the weeds. Oh to have a picture perfect garden!!! Market was cancelled this week for July 4th events, by coming to the farm they still got their share. Her dad moved some straw to the new squash plants, a big thanks. I absolutely covet any muscle that comes my way, and so does my lower back.

How can it be the first week of July??? Where did June go. Perhaps it is because I am older that the days slip quickly. All the best laid plans and schedules, dreams of perfect carrot rows or profusely blooming annuals are meeting reality. In the heat of the day while sitting under the shade of the oaks, I think over the season since it started back in February. Some crops grew the way I dreamed and others have failed. A few flats were lost simply because I could not plant them when they were ready. Last July there were beautiful sweet Napoli carrots, zip for this July. I will replant for a fall harvest.

There is a mantra for farming: TIMING. That clock waits for no farmer!