Itâ€™s the most wonderful time of the year! Snow, cozy fireplaces, holiday decorations, bringing your favorite flask with you to company parties and family gatherings. Yeah, all that stuff is great and all but when Iâ€™m talking about the most wonderful time of the year, I mean that itâ€™s freakinâ€™ seed catalog season, son! Yes, itâ€™s December and weâ€™re already talking about summer gardening. Like the holidays, seed catalog season can be very stressful and overwhelming! Whatâ€™s the best seed catalog to order from? What do you do when you have five or six seed catalogs stuffed into your mailbox all at once? Thereâ€™s hundreds of varieties of tomatoes out there, how do you decide which variety to grow? Hereâ€™s some of our tips to help you decide on seed catalogs and seed varieties.
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!
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’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.
After we got the wood boiler installed and part of the house rehabbed (the upstairs needed a new kitchen and the downstairs was transformed from one huge open space into an apartment style living quarters with a utility room) the next step was to make the garden. Our property has three large hay fields so we took a section of one field and planned our garden area. Deciding on the space was pretty easy. One hay field is too far from the house and another field has our septic system underneath it. The remaining hay field turned out to be the perfect place for a garden; it was flat with a gentle slope for drainage, across from the fresh water springs, next to the chicken coop and also viewable from my kitchen window.