Thursday, June 11, 2015

More In The Ground

I threw my back out Tuesday afternoon - teasing my youngest daughter caused her to jump on my back and zinged it ... Then putting a box under the computer table locked it up!  Too bad too, it was actually feeling better until then ...

So yesterday (Wednesda) hubby & the two youngest .... Kind of, but more on that later ... Put out hubbies new inventions & planted the starters for the slicing tomatoes, the watermelon,one & the canteloupes.

Told hubby to plant the tomatoes on the same side as the potatoes said nice both are of the Nightshade family -- when we do rotations they will move together as well.

It took a couple hours to get in nearly 100 tomatoes plants .... Hubby said that if I do them again next year he wants them started in rows instead of just scattered on the top of the starter trays ... LL ... Didn't have the heart to tell him that those ones WERE planted in rows, they just scattered when they got watered!  I actually don't like planting them either way - the roots get tangled and it's tough to separate them when planting.

Most of my watermelon & canteloupes died waiting to get into the ground .... They grow too fast - I had them in 2 1/2 inch pots, two seeds each, but they grew too fast to last.  I didn't have any 4 inch pots to put them into.  

So now we will have to wait for it to finish raining,then dry a bit so we can plant the cherry tomatoes, peas, beans, and pumpkins ... Maybe even some Hubbard squash -- have you ever seen that stuff?  It look like monster squash!  But it's what they really use in CANNED pumpkin in the stores (pumpkin Hubbard is a breed and meets the truth in advertisement qualifications)

I do have carrots -- and would love to plant more lettuce types, as well as cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, turnips, rutabagas, and parsnips.  But they would all have to start as seed and we have way too many seed eaters around here!


We have corn and potatoes popping their heads out ... YEA!!!!

Hubby says if I get 5# of potatoes for every plant that has popped up - I'm in trouble!

Riiiiiiight .... Did I mention that we tend to go through at least 5# of potatoes a week when we have them fresh?

I don't think we will have issues eating them all.  In fact, the tough part will be saving seed potatoes for next year. 

Onions are looking pretty.  They are beginning to bulb out at the bottoms now but I have to thin them out so they can get big ... The whites are either walls walls or candys - either way, they should get between baseball & softball sized.  The red onions should get to be about 3 inches in diameter so I can leave more of them get her.  

I will pick some tomorrow to take to the cabin .... Even if the bulbs are too small, we can still use the tops as green onions.  My mother-in-law can't have onions though because of her gall bladder so I'm not sure if we can use them.  But at least I know she has friends who would like them.


The dog has been rather naughty ... Now she's a year old, she has discovered that her toenails are "can openers" for the chicken pen!  The furry pooper has been scratching thru the deer fencing to get into the chicken paddock and chase them around -- a few have attacked back but she hasn't been hurt yet and neither have they, but it would only take one to set a very bad pattern!

She does "herd" them when they get out on their own sending them back to the coop lickity split.  

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Farm Update

End of May/Beginnng of June:

Hubby walks the fields yesterday and came in rather excited ....

The Potatoes have finally begun to poke their heads out, he says they are still rather spotty but we are glad that cutting them and letting them scab until the field dried out didn't kill them!

We planted
 50# of each type (red Pontiac & all blue) so if we could get just that much back we will be okay, we will break even .... If we get more than that 50# each back all the better -- I'm just hoping we won't get the 10:1 return that hubby has been hearing/watching on YouTube!   

The last try at potatoes we planted 2# and got like 3# back, but they were very small and my youngest son said they tasted very sweet raw ... He ate them that way too.

So ... If we are going to get a similar 2:3 ratio .... Then I can expect some 75# from each type back ... Not the greatest but it will work.

Hubby is still talking about turning the attached garage into a root cellar .... I think he's over thinking it right now.  If we get a 1:5 return, then yeah I could see us having to find a good way to store 500# of potatoes, but if we do get that 1:10 return ... Oh my gosh! I think I'm gonna be canning for quite some time!


We also have very few corn sprites coming up as well - but that doesn't surprise me, the weather has been rather chilly lately and the soil really should be around 70°F in order for the corn to sprout/emerge

We've been having issues with spotting droppings from the planter these last couple of years so we will have to wait a bit to see exactly how much was actually planted.  HOPEFULLY this year we will actually have a crop - enough to both can/freeze and sell!  But we will see ... I want to make sure I have enough to feed the family all winter until next year AND feed the chickens, if possible, to help cut back on feed costs -- so we may not sell this year even if we did ge a bumper crop.


Well - we should be getting the tomatoes, what few surviving melons I have, as well as the pease & beans in the ground tonight once hubby gets home.

He used PVC piping and landscape fabric to make me some planting frames to help keep weeds down.  And if the wind doesn't rip them to shreds, we should be able to reuse them for a cole seasons before we need to replace the fabric.

Hubby figures a large rock on each corner should be enough to keep the wind from carrying the platforms away and ripping up the plants ... We will see what happens.  It seems counter intuitive to put rocks INTO the garden to me -- but then, I'm just a city girl.

I have talked him into "rotating" ... Sort of, that's why it's in quotes, we will plant the potatoes & tomatoes in the same field since they are both of the nightshade family ...l the corn has its own field being a grass/grain ... The onions are in the retaining wall and looking GREAT btw!  The peas & beans will be planted in the other half of the field where the nightshades are basically cutting the field into two semi-equal pieces (by volume, not width) 

This gives me four plots for planting technically I'm supposed to have one area which does NOT get planted BUT since we planted NOTHING last year, the retaining wall hadn't been planted in several years, and the triangle field hadn't been planted in a couple years ....

Next year I will have to figure out which of the four will not be planted ... I'm leaning towards the long field but then, that's the one where we do the bonfire each year so it gets plenty of nutrients put back in ....  Hinny just varies where the fire gets placed - he evn tried it once on the west end where nothing seems to grow.

More on the miracle of bonfires later ...


More of that stuff later ... Just wanted to give a farm update ....