Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Terra de Tomatillo

I try to describe the effects of the tomatillos on our farm to no avail. People can't picture it unless they see it and they just don't believe me. Posted is a pic of the view of my garden from the front gate. This is only about a 15 ft. strip... the rest of the garden is overran the same way. There are thousands of them falling over and covering ground. They overshadow the tomatoes and the bees prefer them when time for pollination. This is after we also have pulled out and thrown away 100's of plants and tilled even more sprouting babies under. People who haven't experienced this say "well ours don't come back because we till them under" as if suggesting that we don't. We do and the sheep shelter in the garden all winter and their bedding piles up and they walk the ground down hard. Then as soon as spring comes and we open the ground they come. I joke all summer that I am going to change the name of the farm from Sunflower Savannah to Terra de Tomatillo.... Unfortunately we aren't reaping as much from our tomatillo crop this year. I have been able to make very little salsa. It's just too cool at night and while they struggle valiantly, they just can't fill those little sacs full enough.

As we have mentioned before , Slow Foods has given us a grant to be split between raising Cayuga Ducks and making our greenhouse more efficient in order to sun dry heirloom tomatoes as an alternative product. Bill has been working on this just as valiantly as those tomatillos but w/more success. Here he has taken out the center wall between the 2 rooms of the greenhouse. This wall was constructed of house wrap plastic and bubble wrap. He has replaced it w/a twin walled polycarbonate like material. The floor of this room has been insulated with 2 inch foam, covered over w/underlayment and then intersecting foam mats are being laid down.

These are pictures of the room at the same angle from outside the door looking in. The 3rd is facing the wall from the center of the room.

All of these things serve the purpose of making this Southwest facing room, which normally is used for germination and green growth more energy efficient and insect proof. The room on the other side of this wall faces the northeast and is used for finishing and controlling growth.

Next Post; Bill continues to make improvement on the greenhouse.

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