There’s no place that I would rather be than at the farm during fall. The air is cold and crisp and it almost reminds me of ocean air. It’s a fresh, rejuvenating air scented with baked pumpkins, cinnamon coffee and freshly cut firewood. The leaves are changing and creating a beautiful contrast with the overcast clouds. While Dave and I were working in the greenhouse one day, we noticed the looming clouds coming from west and the sun hanging in the clouds to the east. I quickly grabbed my camera to capture the moments and some other shots of the farm during fall.
So we’ve been really quiet on the blogosphere lately… shame on us! See, what had happened was that we got hella busy you know… farming. But that’s no excuse! But we’re going to make it up to you, I promise. Here’s a rundown of what we’ve been up to and where we’ve been lately:
Earlier this summer, we started solarizing our new garden expansion. Basically, we plowed and tilled up the next section of hay field that’s going to be next year’s garden and laid a bunch of tarps over it. The tarps prevent weeds and hay from re-growing there all summer long. The basic idea is that all that summer sinshine heats up the ground under the tarps and fries all the grass and hay underneath. It also prevents a buttload of cursing next summer when we’re trying to weed. So the tarps were all spread out and so we waited. And waited. And waited. But now it’s time to pull off the tarps and see if this whole solarization thing actually worked, then we’re fixin’ to get our fall garden started!
Sorry that we haven’t been posting lately, friends! But if you’ve been following us on facebook or instagram, you know that we’ve been super busy in the garden (Dave calls it “the field” so it sounds cooler but I just think it makes him sound like a Baba O’Reily lyric. 10 points for The Who reference). Right now we’re knee deep in peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and bush beans. Here’s a look around the garden, a.k.a. the field, show you what we have going on and what we’re doing with our harvest.
Is it the end of June already? By the looks of our garden… yes. Yes it is. Our garden is looking nice and delicious, many of our plants are just on the brink of harvest. Each row is flourishing with dark green foliage, flowers and fruits of our labor. Well, mainly Zach’s. He’s been doing a great job of keeping a steady schedule of pest and insect management, weed control and watering when Mother Nature hasn’t been. Before you know it, it’ll be harvest time, selling time and (our favorite) eating time. Here’s a quick look around the garden…
We had our very first harvest of the season last Saturday. We’re growing a dinosaur variety of kale and it’s coming up with a vengeance. Seriously, these kale leaves are as big as your head! We woke up early, early, early on Saturday morning to harvest and prep the kale before selling at the DeSoto Farmers Market. So we packed up our booth and headed over to the market to sell our kale, herb seedlings and fresh homemade beer bread.
It pays to plan ahead (hopefully, with actual money!). And that’s why we’re planning ahead for next year’s garden expansion! Right now we have a 75′ x 100′ garden plot, but we have lots of room to grow. If we’re going to sell at farmer’s markets, shared CSAs, local restaurants and chefs and feed ourselves we gotta expand. However, were going to take baby steps to do it. We wanna learn to crawl before you learn to walk. Besides, the more we learn about farming the more we realize that we don’t know noth’n!
It’s officially June and the garden is officially looking kickass! Zach has been hard at work pruning, weeding and tending to the garden. After we transplanted everything, we made some improvements to the soil, constructed supports for the tomatoes and laid down various materials for weed suppression/organic amendments. Translation: our garden looks hella profesh and waaaayyyy better than it did last year.
It’s finally time to put all of our greenhouse starts into the ground and start direct sowing! We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for the weather to cooperate with us, but now that we finally have the garden tilled and the beds made, we’re ready to get into the garden.
Getting the garden together this year has been a long, arduous process. Like many farmers in Missouri, we’ve been sitting around the last two months with our thumbs in in our bums, waiting for the weather to be decent enough to get in the garden. It’s been really cold and really wet for a really long time. This is how we prepared our soil for this year’s garden.