Sunday, July 29, 2007

Day of Rest

Got a new roll of film developed and thought I'd post some pics for you. There are the Fall seed crop rows planted on 4th of July weekend (White Egg and Gilfeather turnips, Green Wave mustard, Cilantro, St. Valery carrots, Bulls Blood Beets, Italian parsley, Bouquet dill, Forellynschuss lettuce, and lots of Provider green beans. Next to this is a pic of the melon patch under cover. The next row is a close up of some pole beans (Rattlesnake, Cherokee Trail of Tears, Scarlet Runner, etc.) and the beans that will be sold as dry beans (Vermont Cranberry, Soldier, Calypso, Dragon's tongue, Jacob's Cattle, Indian Woman Yellow). Next are pics of the pole bean tepees and other veggies (curly endive and Buttercrunch lettuce, dill, Detroit Red beets, Stuttgart onions, Champion collards, Copenhagen Market cabbage) and lastly a view of the potato section where I have Katahdin and Irish Cobbler growing. I am at war with Colorado Potato Beetles.

Yesterday was a beautiful day at the farmers market. It was not as crowded as last week and we didn't have as many vendors, but it was great to have customers come back to say how good the Green Arrow peas were that they bought last week and did I have more? I sold most of the bushel and a half I had, and all but one of my Copenhagen Market cabbages. One old timer bought all the Boston Pickling cukes -- those are just starting to come on. I sold all the dill I bunched; I trim the dill so you get good fronds in a bunch. Basil doesn't seem to go over too well up here, but that's ok because when there are any herbs left over I dry and bag them for winter. Didn't sell much Italian parsley either. All but three of the summer squash and zucchini sold, and I sold most of the Forellynschuss lettuce. That is such a pretty leaf lettuce! This coming week I should have a few more cabbages, but unless the Provider beans come on, I will have a dearth of produce as everything else is still flowering. I need to work on my succession planting.

The deer got into the cucumbers so I am waiting for my Deer Off to come from and I can spray them and the tomatoes. I should get that tomorrow. Still, the garden is looking good despite getting less than 1.5 inches of rain for this entire season. Hauling all that water appears to be paying off, but I do think a strong factor is the heavy overnight condensation we have had all season. The cooler nights may also be why everything is so slow in coming. The okra and eggplants look good in the high tunnel the possibility of actually getting four kinds of melons (Moon and Stars, Charentais, Green Nutmeg, and Hannah's Choice (my only hybrid) makes my mouth water. The bees have found everything and I love hearing them buzz around me. Now if only the seeds planted for fall come on. . . .

I hope you enjoy the new garden pics; in some of them you can see the difference from mid-June to the last week of July. Note how brown the grass is -- that's a June picture.

Last of all here's a note for Bill: all of the Christmas catalogs and most of the spring/summer catalogs were snapped up by customers this week. I think the rest will go this coming week. I hope you get some orders.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Farmers Market Today

Today was a lovely day and my first this year attending the farmers market in Phillips. It was great to see everybody again. There was quite a nice crowd passing through and I met some really nice people. It didn't take me as long as I thought to set up, probably thanks to practising raising and lowering my new canopy last night with Tom. I received several nice compliments on how my stand looked and on my old timey costume. I sold just about everything and a few people even took some of Bill's catalogs and cards. When I came home I put the unsold basil in the dehydrator and the parsley in the frig. The cabbages were pretty wilted by the time I got home, so I chopped them up and made cabbage soup, which I will freeze in portions and eat whenever I get in the mood for a quick meal.

We are supposed to be very dry for the next few days so I want to get out to the garden early tomorrow and water before it gets too hot. I am excited because when I was picking produce yesterday I saw the zucchini and Boston Pickling cucumbers starting. Tomatoes are starting to come on, too. I hope I can get some more deer deterent before they get my tomatoes -- they got all of my beets.

Well, I am loaded with chores to get done so I'll talk to you later.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Rain, Rain, Come Our Way

Well, despite the last week of much cloudiness and off and on rain clouds, all the rain we got was a scant .6 inch. My tomatoes look pitiful. Still, the cooler weather has allowed some of the new seeds I planted for fall to sprout. But there has not been enough rain to get all of the seeds to sprout. I don't seen any cilantro or carrots yet.

The high tunnel crops look best. Hannah's Choice melons are flowering and vining; the basil is ready to cut; some of the hot peppers are fruiting; the okra and eggplant are flowering and getting tall; the dill is making seed for next year; the Italian parsley is ready to cut, and so is the Forellynschuss lettuce. Happily I saw a couple of bees among the mints and melons.

Spent some time squashing potato bugs today; I'll have to get the Dipel out and spray. It's only been a week since I hoed, but the weeds are all over the place again. This weekend for sure I'll go to the farmers market with Green Arrow shell peas, Genovese Basil, Italian Parsley, Copenhagen Market Cabbage, Endive, and Forellynschuss lettuce. I'll see if I can sell any of my green garlic.

My rhubarb is pathetic. I just don't know what the matter is. It is yellow; the leaves are bug eaten, and the stems on many plants are weak and thin. I can only think it needs water since I have religiously weeded and added compost to it. Maybe it will be stronger next year. I am starting to get summer squash and zucchini, and hopefully will have some ready to pick to take to market by Friday. The Boston Pickling cukes are starting to vine and I wrapped some of the longer stems around the support twine I have set up. The Moon and Stars, Charentais, and Green Nutmeg melons are doing well under the light Agribon cover despite the cool nights, and my Big Moon and New England Pie pumpkins are starting to cover the ground. The Mandan Bride flour corn and sunflowers are looking good (despite the deer bothering them and my pole beans). I cannot wait to get a well put in the field!

The road work seems to be coming along. The crews start as soon as it is light enough for them to see. We were told that they would be dynamiting around the 9th, but we never heard any more about it.

The bear came back and demolished our bird feeders. It bent the metal pole the feeders were on like a plastic straw. Tom is going to go to town tomorrow and get some more feeders as the birds are all looking for their seeds.

Yesterday was Lara's 24th birthday. I can't believe she is that old already. We had a bar-be-que and I took her to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at Phillips. She had a good day. I bought her several scented room sprays and her room is Scent City, let me tell you. But she is happy with them and that is all that matters.

Well, I'm kind of tired -- think I'm fighting off a summer bug of some sort, so I'll talk to you later.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Hoe, Hoe, Hoe

Went out to the field early and started hoeing. There was fog on the marsh and the air was nice and cool. Dad went and cut the hay around the field perimeter so I will need to rake it up as soon as I can get to it. I hoed the corn and sunflowers, the tomatoes, cukes, and squashes, the fall seeded veggies, and the high tunnel. I sprayed Safer Insecticidal Soap on the pole beans, and planted most of the late seeded tomato seedlings (the ones I started after blight hit the high tunnel) in the remaining space in the high tunnel. The high tunnel is now full and it looks great! The Hannah's Choice melons are about ready to run. The rest of the garden still needs a good rain though. Tomorrow I will fix a batch of Deer Off and spray everything. I need to get some bales of peat moss before I tackle the perennial bed. I hoed the rhubarb, garlic and elderberries, but will wait to take care of the raspberries, gooseberries, currants, horseradish, and asparagus until I get the peat. Revamping that asparagus bed alone will probably take me a couple of days -- if you neglect to keep the weeds in check, you deserve what you get, so I have nobody to blame but myself!

I came back to the house around noon and took care of Lara. Then, Tom, Eddy, and I went by Dad's and we hilled up Tom's potatoes again. Dad stopped to chat and then went and cleaned out his ash bin on the outdoor furnace to get it ready for the cold weather (that's next month already!) I was glad to come home and hop into the shower!

Tonight I am taking Eddy to the movie to see Transformers. I am sure he will like it. And, next week it looks like the new Harry Potter movie will be here so I will take both Lara and Ed to see that. Lara wants to see it for her birthday. I told her I would get Order of the Phoenix out and read it to her before we go so that knowing the story may help her follow the movie better. Our theater is not equipped for the blind but we don't care as we don't go that often.

Tomorrow is supposed to be 90F and humid followed by rain. Yuck! That is way too hot for this far north. I hope we get a good, solid rain without any storm damage.

Well, I have to go. Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Call of the Wild

With the road construction going on, the wild life is on the move. Night before last the security light came on in back of the house while Tom was in the kitchen, and when he looked out the window, he saw a good sized black bear checking out the bar-b-que! When he called me to come see it, the bear looked at us a while then went back into the woods, but I know he hanged around a while because the security light periodically went on and off. That was a big bear and I wonder if it is the same bear we saw two years ago. Then, when Tom went to check his deer stand, he came up on a flock of about 10 wild turkeys and the dog almost caught one! But the biggest happening was when Tom let the dog out she surprised a doe with a fawn in the woods in front of the house. The doe went one way and the fawn jumped over the 4 foot fence and into the chicken run! I thought that fat old rooster Chin Lee was going to have a heart attack. The chickens were all making a racket while the fawn jumped all over the place until it finally jumped over the far side of the coop fence and dashed into a stand of balsams down by the north marsh, its white flag of a tail standing straight up. Oh Brother! It was a good thing the dog listened to me when I told her to "stay". I told Tom we can't let her chase deer. Then, somebody's male yellow lab got loose and was out in the front of the house. It was a good thing that Sandy was not out. I wonder whose dog that was.

Yesterday, Tom cut the grass along the hay road and I cut back a lot of the tree branches as far as I could reach so the road is passable. There are several low areas that need to be filled. Then, I put down my organic fertilizer mix around all the veggies and checked the potatoes for potato bugs. Only two plants had bugs so I spot sptrayed those two with Bt and squished all the bugs I could find. Ed and I finished putting in bamboo stakes for the tomatoes and we built our cucumber trellises. The garden sort of looks Japanese with all the bamboo, but it is pretty. The pole beans are looking good and hopefully will start to climb their teepees soon. The other beans I planted for dry beans are all growing well. It is cloudy today and rain is expected so hopefully we will get enough rain to get the new seeds I planted going. Where the oats were I put in rutabegas and white egg turnips, St. Valery carrots, Forellynschuss lettuce, French Breakfast radishes, Cilantro, dill, mustard greens, Bulls Blood beets, borage and calendula and LOTS of Provider green beans. The green beans will be the main green bean crop. I have just one small section that was left unplanted and I want some buckwheat to plant there. The wheat/oats section has a lot of weeds in it, but what grain there is is growing nicely. Guess when it's time to harvest, I'll have to separate the grains by hand, but it is a small patch and hopefully there will be enough for us for the winter. Anyway, with the flowers starting to come on many of the veggies, fruit and the farmers market won't be far away. I'll have to start checking my market supply bins and making ice.

Well, I want to do some reading on community kitchens so I talk to you later.