Friday, August 22, 2008

Garden Boxes Already Producing

I wanted to be sure to post a picture of how the boxes look with the hoops shortened by 2'. You can see the plastic cover tucked next to its box on the ground. I have to admit I am still thinking over how I might afix the plastic to the covers more permanently. Farmtek sells u-channel pieces in 8' lenghts that could be screwed onto the wood cover with self-driving hex screws. The plastic is then layed over the u-channel and a corresponding "spring" wire (purchased separately from Farmtek) is snapped into the u-channel over the plastic and holds it tightly in place. This is the same way plastic is held over larger high tunnels and greenhouses. It makes for easy removal of the plastic when it needs replacement and holds the plastic in place excellently -- at least I have not had any problems with it in my big high tunnel. Since I want to keep these boxes for some time, it may be worth the cost to get the u-channels and springs.

I am really happy how the boxes are producing. I've posted a picture of some French Breakfast radishes. There are a few more thinnings to be done and then I will sell the rest of them. I need to thin the Scarlet Nantes carrots and will thin the sorrel plants when they get a bit bigger. I want to keep all the sorrel I can and will plant those thinnings in a permanent bed out in the field.

Remember how I said I wanted to extend the orchard into the perennial bed? Well, I turned over a section next to where I had the garlic to start getting that area ready for the plum trees that will be coming from St. Lawrence Nursery. Next Spring I think I will buy another 10 trees from St. Lawrence Nursery and put them in the perennial section. I have been reading how people are putting raspberries and blackberries in the rows between trees in their orchard. I don't know if I want to do that though as I do want to put bees in the orchard. I spoke to a beekeeper and he said two hives would be plenty for my garden size. As I have noticed so many bees around mint plants, I think I will plant mint to grow around the trees. People say I am crazy, but I do love mint.

The clouds have been gathering steadily all day and I think we will get some rain tonight. It is supposed to be rainy tomorrow, so I will wait to see how the weather is before deciding on going to the aquaculture facility in Red Cliff. I do want to go so I hope the weather cooperates. I should have enough produce to go to the farmers market next week, and that makes me really happy. I am hoping to have okra and tomatoes to go with baby Forellenschluss lettuce and radishes from the new boxes. When I watered the high tunnel yesterday, I saw a tiny Charentais melon on one of the vines. I hope it matures!

Sarah is on leave and in New Orleans. I hope she is having a good time. Her unit is done with its training so I expect they will be going overseas soon. I can't hardly bear to think about it. I pray she is safe. God bless all our troops and bring them home swiftly!

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