Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

June 30, 2009

June 21st - 30th (update I)

Well, The weeks been a busy one. I was home from work the entire week of the 22-26th sick. I had flu and pneumonia symptoms and so didn't get too much done. At least on my own. I managed to help A~ get some stuff done, but I have to give it up to her for holding down the farm and keeping things going.

The thing is, regardless of the fact that our home and garden isn't truly "A Farm", because of the level of activities that we have going on here, there are times when things just need to be done. Sick or not. I did what I could, helped her out and did some chores during the days, but mostly I have to give her credit for a lot of this weeks updates. There will be three of them so settle in. This post is dedicated to the garden harvests from this last week.Peas came on really hard the last couple of weeks and this week we managed to put up the first stores of the year into the cold storage. This is a picture of our first case of peas. Total we put up two cases of them. We've had fresh peas too of course, but this should give us enough to have a can every two weeks until next year. That's an odd way to think of it but it's kind of the way that we're starting to look at stuff more and more.Strawberries are hot this week too. This strainer weighed in at 8 lbs and I picked another a couple days later that was just sightly larger. (This was about as long as I could stand to be upright during the day. I measured my vertical moments in harvest quantities...yeah, I'm a gardener.)The early red potatoes that we planted on St. Patrick's day have grown nicely but, I think, because of our very wet spring and the fact that these potatoes are at the down hill side of our patch, these potatoes have been beginning to die and showing signs of blight.We decided, since these were planted to have an early harvest young potatoes, we would go ahead and curtail the spread of blight by harvesting them. We harvested just shy of 19 lbs. ( to give an idea, it filled a five gallon bucket 3/4 full.)Tonight also brought us our first tomato. It's an Early Girl tomato that I bought as a large start specifically for this purpose. Early tomatoes. There's a bunch not too far behind. In the next couple of weeks I should start seeing them regularly.The Kohlrabi has done very well too. We brought in a good second harvest last week as well.Things to come will include this Casaba melon that's starting to set fruits. I think I've only had one once, but I'm really looking forward to them! June has proven to be a great month for us. This time last year, we totalled just over 30 lbs of food harvested. So far for 2009 we're at 168 lbs as of tonight! Over 5 times as much!! Whoo hoo.

More to come...

June 21, 2009

June 11th - 20th 2009 (part II)

This last week brought us another good harvest or two from the backyard garden. The cool weather has been a boon to all of the cool weather plants that we put in the ground early this year. Broccoli has been doing great, the peas have yielded very well and here is a picture of our first harvest of Kale from this Spring.That's one regular bushel basket and one double sized one. The total for this harvest was just over 11 lbs and also gave us the opportunity to put up our first produce of the year for later.
We also decided to take a peek under one of our slower producing potato plants too. We just couldn't wait any more... we had to know if we were getting taters or not.Yep, we were.
It only weighed in at a little more than a half pound but they're new potatoes so really your hoping for tenderness and sweetness more than bulk.While it's not a big bumper crop yet or anything, we figured that the fact that this was from our least healthy looking plant and we still got some from it means that the big bushy and very healthy plants should yield much better.

I mentioned that it's been raining like the dickens here. Well, here's the view out the back door on our first day of Summer.Pretty much says it all doesn't it?

It was a good week last week all things considered. Springs over and we've officially entered the summer season. Though the weather hasn't seemed to have gotten the memo yet. How's things in your necks of the woods? How are your harvests coming? Anyone else out there decide to weigh-in for 2009? How goes it?

All the best to you till next time.

June 20, 2009

June 11th - 20th 2009

Creative title huh? I figured since all of my posts lately have seemed like "Catching Up" posts, that I should try a little something different, at least for the time being, since the posts have been quite spaced out. I know it's kind of beating a dead horse and all but have I mentioned what a busy year this one has turned out to be? Geeez!

A couple of posts ago I mentioned the Master Gardener conference that A~ and I were getting ready to go to last weekend, we had a great time. Friday afternoon we went down to Salt Lake and, after signing in and getting situated, we headed out for a tour of a botanical garden called Red Butte Gardens. What a beautiful place! I was so mad at myself though when I got there and was about to take some pictures when I realized that I had left my memory card at home so, unfortunately, no pics of the tour this time. A~ and I are planning on going back again though.

Our favorite parts were the "themed" gardens that they had. There was an herb garden, aroma garden and a medicinal plants garden all with beautiful plants, trellises and paths. We both agreed that we need to do something like that one day in our next home.

Anyway, after the garden tours we had a very tasty dinner in the park with the other Master Gardeners and met a really cool couple that lives just a few miles from us. They are on five acres with an acre in garden, animals, pasture and are currently building a root cellar. We were all definitely of like minds. Funny to have to go all the way down to town in order to meet folks that are just around the corner.

The next day we had signed up for classes and workshops. The first was a workshop on learning how to build your own garden fountain from pottery.The class was only about an hour so there wasn't a whole lot of time to get into details, but I did get a good idea of how the pots are modified to stand up together and how to integrate the pump which was really what I was hoping for. A~ has been wanting a nice garden fountain for years but we've not been willing to shell out the $$ for the kind that we/she likes.

The next class was on integrated pest management. We learned about the importance of fostering a healthy ecosystem in our yards and gardens in order to not only keep the plants healthy, but to attract beneficial insects. So far I think we've been doing a pretty good job. This year has seemed to be the year that our organic gardening efforts have been rewarded. There's been a lot of good beneficial insects around the yard and bees have abounded! Very good news.

Finally we had another workshop on building Tufa, or more accurately, Hyper-tufa pots. For those not in the know on these, Hypertufa is a composite rock that's made generally from peat, perlite and portland cement. It can be formed into all sorts of cool pots and formations and is very good for growing plants in.This is a small example that the instructor brought to the class to show. The possibilities with this material are nearly endless and I think I can really find some interesting ways to make use of it sometime in the future. Here you can see that the pots can actually be fairly large too.The tools in front of the pot are ones that the instructor used to shape the pot before it had hardened. It was really pretty pliable in it's uncured state. Should be fun to try sculpting this stuff. I''m actually hoping to be able to use this together with my pottery fountain knowlege in order to build a custom fountain for A~.

Since we were down in Salt Lake, which is a good 50 miles from us, we decided to just stay the night down there rather than to make the drive twice a day. Just around the corner from where we stayed was a place called Wheeler Historic Farm. We decided to drop in there one evening before it closed and took a nice sunset walk around the park to check out the place and see what was available for a future trip with the boys. We walked over by the animal enclosures and found this little lady.I looked at her and then at A~ and declared "I waaannnaaaa cooowwwww!" With my best pout. (At my age that's not very good by the way...) A~ has been teasing me about it ever since! She sure was a cutie though. A little further on and we spotted this big guy. He puffed all up at us a couple of times too... what a showoff.Then, you know that feeling you get when you see the house you'd love to have, well I kind of got that feeling.What? You though I meant a real house? Look at that baby will ya. That's a chicken mansion!

As we were walking back to the front we peaked in around the historic farm house that sits in the middle of the property and A~'s eagle eyes picked out this little guy. I've never seen a hummingbird stop for as long as this one did. He just flew in and rested on the clothes line for a couple of minutes right next to us. It was such a treat to see.Then, just as quickly, he disappeared. We caught him a second later nipping a little sip off the flowers in front of us and managed to catch another picture of him. Very cool indeed.
Well, that about wraps up last weekend. We were lucky to have caught a break between the storms just perfectly for the day and a half of the conference. By the time we got out to the boys grandmothers home a horrendous, though I must say beautiful, lightning storm had moved in and it rained for the next 24 hours. That pretty much set the stage for the rest of the week too.

More to come soon, hope this finds you all well!

June 10, 2009

Catching up

What a spring!
It's been so wet this spring, I have never seen it like this. In the last week for instance, we've had rain on at least three of the last seven days. I honestly have to say that I've loved every minute of it! Our grass is green, the spring veggies are doing great and our decorative landscaping... well, let me just say that sitting on the porch with my sweetheart and a glass of iced tea with the pungeant smell of honeysuckle wafting through the air is pure delight.

Speaking of the garden, It's been a while since I gave you a peek at the potato garden. It's been doing great the last couple of months. I thought the old guy at the local nursary was a bit daft when he told us to plant them on St. Patrick's day but lo and behold...BAM...Potatoes!
For some odd reason A~ and I are both really excited about this patch. Of course we're happy for all of the garden, but we've loved watching this area develop. In the next week or two we'll be starting to pull small new potatoes from them and enjoying them thoroughly.

Oh yeah, and the flowers are so cool looking. Kind of a psychedelic tomato blossom huh? Of course they are related so I guess that's to be expected.A~ and I have been much better this year at making sure that we've kept up with our garden journal too. It's been really fun looking back at all of our notes from last year. In fact, we went through the 2009 log tonight and added up everything we've harvested so far and came up with 48.22 lbs. So then we could check with last years log and see where we were this time last year. only 4.34 lbs. We're already over 16 lbs past the total for the end of June last year. Yeah!!

So, needless to say, all the hard work this spring has really been paying off. Now, if I can get the weather to cooperate, I should be starting greenhouse work pretty soon. Well, not until I wrap up the rest of my honey-do list that is. The rain's been buying me some time though.

Hope everything is great with you all. May your gardens grow and harvests abound!

June 9, 2009

Two weeks?

I can't believe it's been that long since I've posted!!
Sorry for the lack of attention. Spring has been in full force, projects have been getting wrapped up and first crops harvested. I can't tell you the true total, but we're near the 50 pounds of food harvested already this year.

I hope to have a full update soon, but you may yet have a bit of waiting to do if I can't get it posted tomorrow. Friday and Saturday, A~ and I are going to spend the night down in SLC where we'll be participating in the 2009 Master Gardeners Conference. We've signed up for a couple of very cool tours of an arboretum and the Red Butte Gardens as well as some great classses. I'm really looking forward to the class on building Tufa Planters!

Hope you're all well and your gardens are doing great!
Till next time.