Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cut field

Our field was cut this weekend by our tractor-owning neighbor. He cut it Thursday, and I was gone this weekend until Sunday and when I got back it was baled and gone.

This 2 acres of field is a huge reason we bought this house. It's hard to say what this will look like in a few years. I've thought about sheep (soay), milking goats, a few cows, a vineyard, free ranging chickens and ducks, more fruit trees, row crops (quinoa or corn), etc etc. It will take a few years to sort out which direction I want to go, and the end result will undoubtedly be a mixture of many of these. For now I'm going to let it lie and watch how it does this winter with rain and drainage - it stayed pretty wet through this spring. So many options!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Fruit trees are coming along great. All of the trees set fruit well (except one apple that set only 5 or 6) and seem to be growing well, now putting out their summer flush of new growth.

Apples turning red on the sun-side.

Red bartlett? My unreliable fruit tree map says green bartlett, but I am suspicious.

Bing-type cherry. We have 2 of these trees, and this one (behind the house) is ripening faster than the tree out front.

First ripe cherries! We hung silver scare tape to help keep the birds out of them, and it seems to be working pretty well. We are going to have hundreds of cherries...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Keeping up with the garden

Lots of work to be done now as everything starts to take off. Weeding is a constant chore. Usually takes an hour or two a week to keep things under control. Makes for plenty of "greens" for the compost pile though.

Put up the trellising for the pole beans. Just 1x2 fastened to some T-posts for support and strung with cotton twine for the plants to climb. I read up about different trellis styles and this one made the most sense to me. Most people make them leaning the other way (like a peak, not a valley), but then all the beans hang down into the middle, where they can't be reached easily. This way the beans will hang down right on the outside for easy picking (in theory anyway).

Beans are just starting to send up the leaders that will begin to twine.

Here's the East side of the garden, where the summer vegetables are. Beans, tomato, potato, and peppers. The potatoes were hilled-up again, twice so far, hopefully leaving enough room for the tubers to form.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

First veggies ready

The only complaint I have about the new property is that we didn't get it earlier in the season! Normally I would have the earliest lettuces, spinach, and radishes in by the beginning of March, ready by May. This fall I'll be making a bunch of glass topped cold frames, which means I can put out hardy transplants even earlier and even hold them over our mild winters. Year round food!

Snow and snap peas are ready, the lettuce is now big enough to cut, and the spinach thinnings are delicious. The red kale is ready as well. It is so nice to pick fresh food right out the back door.

Spinach sown just 20 days ago is huge. This is my first successful attempt at spinach.

Red russian kale is supposed to have inferior flavor when it matures in summer compared to maturing into fall. Tastes good to me though.

It is really amazing how fast things grow after they get established. This broccoli was half this size one week ago. Looks like this year will have many "my best yet" results for a lot of vegetables (not too hard to beat my previous attempts).