Monday, 2 November 2015

We have finally finished digging all our sweet potatoes.! We figure we got over 10,000 lbs. We have most of them cured and moved into the cooler, just have a few more crates to move over and they will all be done and we can turn off the big green house.

We got our herb bowls and rosemary starts, stevia and succulent bowls moved into the little green house. Have been having trouble with the heater in there, but think we finally got it going.

We got the glad bulbs dug and I think we have double what we started with.  So next year will have lots to plant and hopefully have lots to cut! I also planted just over 200 tulip bulbs and am forcing Paper Whites in pots to hopefully have at the winter market, maybe in time for Christmas?!! I had someone give me a bunch of daffodil bulbs at market last week so need to get them planted tomorrow.  It's nice here today up in the mid 70's. We've only had one light frost so far and it did not really do much damage. Got the basil, but the basil was pretty well gone by then anyway.  Last week I cut a bunch of oregano, zaatar, sage, and fennel seeds and got them dehydrated. I'm now working on drying summer squash, peppers, green beans and eggplant.

Greg got the sweet potato ground tilled up last Friday. Now need to get the tomato field cleaned up; cages pulled up, plastic and drip tape pulled up and then tilled.  We got much needed rain over the weekend so hopefully the plastic will come up easier.

We just keep plugging away and one of these days we'll be done and able to sit back and relax! Ha;Ha!  We are already receiving new seed catalogs and I have already placed my order for next years ginger and turmeric seed stock!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

It's official! I'm not a very good blogger! It's been over a year without a post, but we are still alive and kicking.  It's been a busy year like always. We had a very wet Spring and early Summer. We had lots of rain all the way up to July 1st. Then it quit and we haven't had more then a few tenths since.

potatoes in cooler
Since it was so wet early and strawberry season was quite good and busy, we didn't get several things planted or what we did get planted drowned. Things like summer squash, winter squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, beans, corn, etc. you get the picture.  The things that did real well were our potatoes, I know surprising, but after last year that was a great boon!! We have around 17 varieties this year and they produced the most and biggest potatoes we've ever done. We also planted in new ground that Greg tilled up last fall and put cover crops on.  Our hoop house tomatoes did real well. The outside ones did poorly, as they got blight. Our hoop house strawberries did well as did our ginger and swiss chard. We are just digging on our ginger and it is beautiful and big! The turmeric is looking good but still needs to grow some more. We lost all of our garlic as Greg got quite sick this Summer from Ehrlichiosis, a tick born disease and was out of commission for awhile. Plus in the mid to latter part of June when we should have been digging we got a 7" rain. So what garlic that got dug was used for this years seed which we got planted last week.

We are about done digging our sweet potatoes which are doing fairly well. We have about 6 rows left to dig. We've been curing what we dig and then moving them to the cooler.
The trick now is getting them all to fit in the cooler! Greg spent yesterday afternoon designing and building wooden crates that better utilise the space then the round tubs we had them in. He still has more to build but we still don't know if they are all going to fit!

So that it is it in a nut shell. I'm busy dehydrating things trying to get ready to put together my soup mixes, herb and tea blends. We still have all the Fall clean up and tilling to do. I need to dig up all of my glad bulbs (all 500 of them) and store them for the winter, but I am still cutting a few. That was a new venture this year and I think they did well.

Well that's it for now. Hopefully I can find time and remember to get on here more often!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Well another month has passed since I've last posted, seems to be a trend I can't break out of!

We got all of our garlic dug and hanging in the barn. That was a big job as it had to be dug all by hand then bundled, tied and hung. We have 72 varieties and planted about 100 cloves of each variety so you do the math!:)

We've been picking tomatoes out of the hoop house. This past week was the peak and we sold over a thousand dollars worth on Saturday, but that will go down drastically now. The outside tomatoes in the big field are all dead. The University thinks it's herbicide carry over in our composting, but we still do not think that's entirely the whole problem as we put the same compost on other fields and they did fine! We did manage to plant about 3 dozen late ones in our front garden and they are looking good, in fact I need to get them caged up. Our sweet potatoes are looking good and so is our winter squash field. I pulled one carrot yesterday to see how they are doing and they look like we can start pulling them any time, but it will be a little bit as we are digging onions now and then will move into the second potato field that didn't get hit by whatever the first field did?! I've been cutting up and dehydrating 2nd tomatoes so I have some for soup mixes this winter. We had some nice blueberries and managed to freeze a couple of gallons of those. Our blackberries won't amount to much but what is out there should be ready in a couple of weeks maybe sooner. My basil is really coming on strong now and the fennel is looking good.  Of course the zucchini is going gang busters, but we need to get a second planting going of them. Peppers and eggplant are looking good in the hoop house, but they are still a little ways from producing, we got them out so late. The green beans aren't much as between the rabbits and the deer they haven't stood much of a chance! Greg keeps spraying them with an egg & hot pepper spray and it keeps raining and washing it off! The deer have eaten a lot of the apples off that they can reach in the orchard which may not be all bad as the trees are really loaded!

The deer are getting a lot more brazen and don't know why with all the garden produce they have access to, but the other morning one was in the drive way outside our back yard gate and then just a couple of mornings ago Greg saw one in our front yard when he went out to go to work at 5:30 in the morning.  That's getting way to close to my day lilies which they really love to eat! I will not be a "happy camper" if they get into them!!!!

We are now officially out of the chicken business as the last two passed on a week ago. Now all that's left are 3 ducks and 7 guineas.  

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Sorry it's been a month since I last posted. Can't believe it's been that long! We have been busy, of course:)! We are winding down on our strawberries. We had two weeks of a little over 200 quarts each week and one week of 195 quarts. This past week we had only 67 quarts. We picked about 12 quarts off the outside ones this past week, but they are not going to amount to anything. The winter was too severe for them and then we had a late frost and two hail storms on them! We had another down pour and high winds early this morning and I noticed we have minor damage on our big hoop house with tomatoes in it, but it is easily fixable. Speaking of which, we are starting to get some cherry tomatoes out of it and I noticed this morning one big one is getting pretty ripe! So it won't be long! At least this year I have managed to get them all tied up and it looks pretty good in there! We got our ginger and leeks planted in the strawberry hoop house and have been working on getting the sweet potatoes planted. We have most of our slips that we started planted just waiting on some that we have ordered out of Iowa to arrive.

We used our new box trailer while we were taking plants to market and we really liked it, but the last time we used it we had a tire blow out on the interstate on the way to market and had to unload it and leave it till we could get back to change it after market. That is something  we definitely  do not want to do again, so we bought two new tires for it!

Our potatoes we planted are up and going strong, at least the second field is. The first field we planted March 15th has major issues. They all sprouted which is better than the second field did, but all the plants in the whole field, which is about 160' by 90' are curled, deformed and stunted and we don't think will make anything. We at first thought it was cold damage but that has been ruled out. We took samples into the plant diagnostic center at the University for testing and so far they can't figure it out either but are still working on it. We really need to know so we know what we can or can not do with the field for next year?!

Our garlic has started to send out scapes so Friday Greg picked a bunch and we took them to market to sell. We sold 97 bunches of 10 each and didn't make a dent in our offerings!  There will be more ready to pick this week. They are fun to use and I had an elderly oriental lady who was so excited to see them and thanked me over and over for having them! She was very happy! That makes market fun, to hear how different people use and fix things. It doesn't matter what we take there is usually someone who knows what it is and what to do with it!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Strawberries and asparagus are here! That must mean Spring has arrived! Yea! We picked 87 quarts of strawberries this morning and three pounds of asparagus. We don't have a very big patch of asparagus mainly for us, but we share a little:)! We got hit Monday with a hail storm and it messed up our three hoop houses. Luckily we still didn't have the plastic replaced on the fourth one. We can get by for the summer, but we will have to put new plastic on the three next fall and one of those we just had replaced a month ago! The joys of farming and dealing with the weather! Luckily we didn't have much crops outside yet to damage. The potatoes are just breaking through and the garlic didn't seem to be bothered. Our arugala took a hit, but it will grow out of it. Next week is to be a lot warmer, up in the upper 70's so it should grow out of it pretty quick. Our green onions got beat up a bit, but not too bad. Pulled 100 bunches for market tomorrow. We have also gone through our heirloom tomato plants and pulled out the ones we are keeping for ourselves to set outside. The extras we will have at market tomorrow, also. So looks like we will have a good day weather wise and finally some new Spring produce to offer along with our sweet potatoes, baked goods and dried produce! We also found a used 10 foot box trailer for sale and added it to our farm family this week! That should make getting things to market easier and eliminate taking a second truck a times. Will also make it easier to load crates into and we can take plant racks in it! We are taking it this week to test it out! :)

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Just thought I'd post some pictures and let you see some of what we're doing and how things are progressing!

These are our first strawberries of the 2014 season! Greg picked about 1 1/2 quarts on Sunday, so we should have some for market on Saturday! There won't be many but it's a start! These are out of our hoop house. The outside ones are just barely beginning to bloom so we could have strawberries for close to two months if the weather and everything aligns just right!! :)

                                                                        These are some of our sweet potato slips that we are starting. When it gets warm and stays warm we will cut these and root them and then plant them for next Fall's crop. We have a little over 30 different varieties!

This shows some of our basil, leeks and okra that are started in the green house. Some of the basil will be for sale at the market, too.

More of our sweet potato slips going. These pictures were actually taken over a week ago so they have really grown since then!
 These are some of our second planting of  heirloom tomato plants. Some of these (around 1300) will go outside and the rest will be for sale at market.
These are a few of tomato plants that will be for sale also. They are from our first planting. Their mates are already planted out in the hoop house. Some of these are already blooming!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Well since I last posted we planted more potatoes, onions and shallots. We seeded in some greens and peas and we transplanted about 1600 tomato seedlings into 4 packs. We also planted out those first tomato plants that we started back on February 2nd into one of our hoop houses. We were finally able to get the plastic on one of the hoop houses that needed replacing, but have yet to get the second hoop house that lost it's plastic back the first of March in a blustery 60 mph day! Our strawberries in our 4th hoop house are blooming and looking good! Greg has been spreading Boron and gypsum on the fields to get them ready to disc. He needs to spread compost yet, but last week we got almost 9" of rain and most of it came in two days! Luckily we missed the hail that hit in town. They had so much that they had to get the snow plows out to clear the roads. Lots of windshields and roofs were damaged! We've got 150 more pounds of seed potatoes to plant and may get that done tomorrow after market. Our sweet potatoes that we are sprouting in the green house are really starting to set slips. I think I counted about 32 different varieties this morning while I was watering. I also got my basil seedlings potted into 4 packs and have some more fennel, tomatoes, parsley, celery and more tomatoes that need to go into 4 packs. Also need to get the tomatoes in the hoop house staked and strung up.  The alternator went out on Greg's big tractor so he is waiting on parts for that. He was hoping to get it done this weekend so he could finish up on the hoop house that still needs plastic, but will have to wait. That's where we are planting our peppers and eggplant and they are ready to go out!. So as you can tell we are keeping busy. One of these days I'll remember to take my camera out and get some pictures!