Archive for June, 2008

Freshman Farmer

I’ve been following a blog, Freshman Farmer, by Andrew Meyers, who is just 24 years old, starting a CSA in Nevada County called Wild Grace Farms. I love his blog, because I relate to it. He tells of the struggles and triumphs of operating a small farm. Most everything he writes about is what we experience too, so I know we are not alone. Check out his blog, he writes about things I think about, but don’t particularly write. I appreciate his voice so much.


Testing, Testing

Eric did a little test with the new soil, Mel’s Mix. As you can see in the picture, one sunchoke plant looks good and the other droopy. The healthy looking one is planted in Mel’s Mix, from Square Foot Gardening and the other is planted in dirt and compost. As you can see, the Mel’s Mix wins. We don’t have to water as much and that’s why the Mel’s Mix plant looks so much better.

This is the soil in the new bed. We are planting that now, so it will be interesting to see how it works with a variety of other veggies. More on that as we grow.

Onions and Garlic

We pulled the onions and garlic this week. Usually, they go through a drying stage before they are sold. That way, they can be stored longer. Since we started the season this year, we decided to start giving them to our subscribers. Plus, we need the space to plant more veggies. I braided the garlic and it’s hanging in the garage. I’ll gather the onions up tonight and hang them too.

The green, bushy plants behind the onions are lemon cucumber plants. There are tons of flowers on the plants and that means tons of lemon cucumbers. We are trying to train them to climb the fence, which makes it easier for us to pick. Everyone seems to love these, so we grew more than we ever have!

Raised Bed with Grid

It only took two tries to get the grid right, and this is how it looks right now. I thought using string would be easier for me and I think it will work. Time will tell after the veggies grow, but for now,
it’s what it is.

Tip: The first time I installed the grid, I used cotton string and tacks, which I tacked into the top of the wood. It looked good and I thought it was a great and inexpensive way to create the grid, but I soon realized the tacks would pop out at the slightest touch. Eric and I were on our hands and knees, in the garden, looking for tacks that had flung themselves far from their original spot. It was sort of like looking for a contact on a rug….hard. But we didn’t want anyone, especially Sadie, to get a tack in the foot. We think we found most of them……yes, I said most, which indicates more than one flew across the garden.

We decided the tacks were not going to work, so we removed them all and replaced them with upholstery tacks, which are longer. I also put them on the side of the wood, instead of on top. I didn’t use the cotton string, but instead used a sort of nylon-type string, which seemed stronger and was thicker. I guess I thought it would stand up to the sun better than the cotton. We’ll see and I’ll report more as time passes.

(I can see in this picture that I need to take some closeups of the tacks and string.)

Basil Violetto Aromatico

Red Basil. Sweeter tasting than regular basil with a slight clove undertone. From Seeds of Italy.

Even Gophers Love Potatoes!

We harvested all of the Yukon Gold potatoes. I was a bit disappointed in the yield, as I expected more. We planted 10 15 pounds and pulled up about 90 pounds. Not bad really, but we probably could have had more, had the ground not been so hard. We till and amend with compost, but the soil in the bog garden is very rocky and full of clay. Plus the gophers. There were tons of underground tunnels, going every which way. This pic is what gophers do to potatoes. Subscribers never see these, as we have high quality control standards. No, these end up in our kitchen, where I cut off the bad part and cook up the rest. No reason to waste! 🙂

Breakfast: Fried potatoes, garlic, carrots, beets and basil; all fresh from the garden!
I love the colors.

First Subscriber Harvest

Sunday was our first harvest for our subscribers. Although the bounty was light, as it normally is at the start of the season, it was a big success. We met new subscribers and reconnected with past subscribers. It was great to visit with all of them. Sundays naturally turn into a sort of social day, which is fun for us. We really enjoy talking to everyone and sharing garden stories. Watch the table as the season progresses.

Carrots, Garlic and Beets