Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Today's Garden Harvest

Here is today's harvest from my garden at the farm.  lots of banana peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomtoes and bell peppers.  Today's harvest weighed in at 12 lbs.  The banana peppers and cucumbers became pickles, the tomatoes were shared with neighbors and the green peppers are in the freezer awaiting more tomatoes, onions and other yummies for salsa.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ahhhh, Summer :)

Went outside to feed the dog this morning and look what I found. :)  I'm so excited that our figs are beginning to ripen.  The boys and I love fresh figs (hubby prefers them preserved).  Since they are available to us in-season only, the next few weeks will be such a treat.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Caterpillars in the Tomatoes

I found these very large caterpillars on my heirloom tomato plants.  My plants have just begun to flower again after a nice sized crop ripened, so I really hope this was all of the caterpillars.  I would be so disappointed if there are more and they manage to damage my plants before I find them.   How do you handle these kinds of pests?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Today's Harvest

Some tomatoes, some cucumbers and one blueberry.  Not pictured - a handful of strawberries. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Get to Know Your Farmers

This year, I am growing some tomatoes, but definitely not enough to meet all of the tomato needs for our family.  We have 4 Roma, 2 Black Krim, 1 Cherokee Purple, 1 Stripy and one Cherry Tomato.  So far with the Roma, we are washing and coring them and putting them in the freezer for later canning.  The rest, we are just eating - yum!! 

Knowing that we won't have enough tomatoes for all our canning, I've been putting out feelers to all the farmers at our market, looking for canning tomatoes.  Canning tomatoes, or canners, are seconds, or less than perfect tomatoes (strange shaped, bruised, blemished, etc).  In addition to coring these, I just cut off the  less than perfect parts and have tomatoes perfect for canning.  One farmer in particular has been receptive to an arrangement, and so I've been getting tomatoes and peppers for salsa at a fraction of their regular price.  In exchange, I've been selling some of my items to her at an extremely reduced rate, and giving her the bread
we have left at the end of the day for free.  We are helping each other out, and both benefitting from our arrangement.  If you have a relationship with a farmer, ask them about their seconds to see if they need a way to make some money off of them.  You might be able to make sauces and salsas for less.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Oh, So Disappointing :(

Right now there is a great big hole in the back yard, right were, 6 hours ago, I had a great big compost bed, just about ready to start using,.  In the country, I expected to have my things deestroyed by wildlife or the neighbors dogs, but I was speechless when I returned home from my parents' farm today to find a hole,(put there by a 2 legged demolition team) where I expected compost.  It is about 12 feet long, 5 feet wide and about 4 feet deep.  There is a cable running out of it and into my yard.  I hope that doesn't mean the rest of the yard is about to be excavated.  Oh, so disappointing.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Why Chickens are Amazing - Today's harvest

When I planted my 8X8 ft garden on my Dad's farm, I put in 3 cucumber plants.  When I checked on the garden a few days later, two of my cucumber plants were gone - eaten by something, I assume.  The one remaining plant grew to an insane size and has been flooding us with cucumbes over the last three weeks.  So far, since Sunday (two days ago), we have picked 26 fully grown cucumbers and there are many, many more that are small that we will harvest later this week or early next.  We ended up giving away about 11, feeding three huge ones to the chickens and the rest are pictured above with one of the personal sized watermelons from my garden.  Not pictured, approximately 14 cucumbers, 3 watermelons (we gave some away) and some peppers (we gave them away, too).  The three tomato plants are dripping with green tomatoes, the peppers plants have many, many peppers (we harvested about 5 lbs last week) and next time I am there, I plan to harvest large amounts of basil and parsley - yum!!

The only thing I can attibute the large harvest to is the fact that the chickens spent some time preparing the garden plot for us a few months back.  I think their fertilizer must be some awesome stuff because this garden is more productive than we can use (that's for the five of us and my parents)  Just imagine if the other two cucumber plants had survived.  Since I hope to expand the garden next year to have more to offer at the farmer's market, I'm really grateful for our hens and their eggs and fertilizer.