Thursday, June 8, 2017

A Rayven in the Garden

Market List; Grass Fed Lamb; Cuts and Ground,  Purslane, SuperFood Salad Mix, Green Onions, Radishes and last week for Tomato Plants. We will have Slow Food Cayuga Duck eggs and Chicken eggs also, both free range but fed
Non GMO feed.
The farmer that grows the Non GMO feed that our Feed Mill gets for us must use Organic methods even if they are not certified because the Feed Mill complains that the bags get full of beetles while none of the other feed does. Indeed I had a creepy crawly Sci Fi experience with a bag we had set to the side for the new baby ducks. I went to get a scoop of feed and was met with the sound of continuous scrabbling in the bag. I looked in it and the sounds were caused by dozens of beetles running between the paper layers of the bag. Good thing the birds enjoy bugs, because they got those for dinner too. Still it made my skin crawl.

So Rayven is here again for awhile, most of the month of June and probably a bit longer after a break. So much help planting, fetching and carrying and of course someone to swim and hang out with. Between her and mom we are getting a lot of stuff planted. These are the varieties that we have planted:
Pork Chop, Sweet Carneros, Early Girl, Pantano Romanesco, Japanese Black, Pink Girl, Blue Beauty, Chocolate Chestnut, Tie Dye Berkley, Lemon Boy, Mortgage Lifter, Amish Paste, Plum Lemon, Black Plum, Cherokee Green, Arkansas Traveler, Green Zebra, Paul Robeson, Caspian Pink, Black from Tula, Purple Carbon, Violet Jasper, new ones called Hungarian Heart, Gold Metal, Vintage Wine and Sara Black. Cherry Tomatoes like Yellow Pear, SunSugar, Chocolate Cherry, Yellow Topaz, Barry's Crazy Cherry and Abracazebra.
SO excited about Vintage Wine and Abracazebra! For the last couple of years we have been trying a method made popular by a Farmer in Quebec using Raised and Shaped beds covered in plastic for weed prevention. While I like the shaped beds, raising them above the level of the garden, allowing for better drainage, I never have been happy with the planting in plastic thing. It just seemed like we couldn't get the plants in deep enough and piling the dirt on top of the plastic while digging the holes for the plants, just caused weeds to grow on top of the plastic. We still spent the summer weeding and the plants were just spindly- not our usual sturdy 'maters. So last year mid season, I vowed that I was going to improve this process. I decided to do the plastic in between the rows and plant directly into the soil putting the plastic up to the plants. The difference is amazing. The plant stems are sturdy and as thick as my thumb while most of them are only around 2 ft. tall. I figure that if we are going to weed around the plants, they might as well be stocky healthy plants. I feel it in my gut, it's going to be a good tomato year!
Interesting side note, we just came in from locking up the animals and a good thing too. Rayven came running when I was in the barn to tell me there was something screaming ...I couldn't hear because the sheep make so much noise. The dogs were barking. I just shrugged and said it was probably coyotes. When I walked out, I discovered that I was wrong because it was a bobcat cry! It repeatedly called over and over and then we saw it run past- not well because it was almost dark but still...

Last week I posted about the Festival at the park in June, next weekend to be exact. I found out on Saturday morning that it had to be moved because of the water and electrical issues ongoing since last September at our Market location. Just when we thought that it was bad enough with just the tennis court bathrooms, they tore those out too. Silly park people!

It's going to be another hot one this weekend, good thing too since we need heat for tomatoes. We'll see you there.

God's Blessings on you and yours,


Sam, Bill and Rayven

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