Thursday, May 21, 2009

Feeling a little less panicked

Well I am feeling less panicked then the last time I wrote. We have rebuilt beds and re-planted most everything. They are coming up nicely and doing well. We will be a little late in our harvest but it will still be a great season. The tomatoes are putting on blooms and the bees are buzzing around. This is our first season in our new garden area. It is about 2 and a half acres and we are filling it up fast. The CSA membership is growing so fast and we need to keep up with the growth. We have been amending the soil quite a bit and keeping lots of compost tea on it so that the plants will not be stressed in their new home. They are looking really healthy and strong so far but.......... we will have to watch them very closely. The soil in the new garden is very sandy and will loose nutrients fast if not attended to regularly. We grew two nice cover crops before we tried to plant in this area, but it still needs more time.

Everything is green and the roses are blooming finally. It really looks pretty around here. The only thing is I can't keep everything mowed and the grass gets really out of hand fast. I am looking forward to the summer veggies. I love the fresh garden tomatoes and peppers. Nothing beats it. Although the spring veggies were really nice this year. We had lots of gourmet lettuce and fresh spinach, cabbages and greens. I really enjoyed growing those and we got lots of nice feedback from the members on the taste and quality. The summer melons are my favorite. I am looking forward to those the most.

Well I need to get busy planting so I had better stop for now.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

We must really love farming......after this Spring!

This Spring is wearing us out! We had two really low (27 degree temperature) late....late...freezes. The second to the last one just killed us. The damage was severe and we lost several thousand dollars in strawberries and vegetables. If the temperature had only gotten down to 31 or 32 degrees it would have been fine but the strawberries and vegetables were severely damaged at 27 degrees. We trimmed off the damaged veggies in hopes that the folage would come back and it did. It took some time for them to start growing good again. Then we had our last freeze right before Easter! We were prepared for this one. The weather man got it right this time and we spent until 2:30 am covering veggies and berries. Wow! that was a major chore....but the next day all was fine. It took me all day by myself to uncover the berries and vegetables. In all we lost one week due to the freeze and had a couple of light weeks after that. But now the members shares look really good again for the last few weeks. Lots of beautiful vegetables!

Then.......... came lots of rain and hail. Damaging marble size hail! Really did a job on the strawberry plants and the tender vegetables we have growing for our CSA members. Luckily we are not going to miss any weeks due to the hail but some of the veggies are not as pretty as they once were. They still taste delicious and there will be plenty for the harvest. We are going to try to make up the week we lost. I think we have enough planted out to make it.

As far as the summer growing goes we are falling behind several weeks. The late freezes kept us from getting much in the ground early. When we were able to put plants in the ground the hail damaged most of them. We lost over half of our tomato plants we had planted, almost 400 plants. The hail just busted them in half. The raised beds were damaged and parts of them were washed away. We had so many seeds in the ground that were washed away. I am now re-ordering them again (I don't even want to discuss the loss there!). The rains brought cooler temperatures and what seeds that didn't wash away are not germinating. They are rotting in the ground. Luckily we ordered lots of extra heirloom and organic tomato transplants about a month ago and we will be able to replant quickly. Our melon plants were busted up really bad too. Some are trying to recover but most just died. We are re-planting them as well. I just can't get anything to germinate very fast right now. The rain is still coming. Tonight is supposed to be severe thunderstorms and more hail predicted. I am praying so hard it misses us. If it doesn't miss us I pray the damage is not severe.