Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Helping Others

I've been following the Cage Free Family for some time now. They've been fun, happy, exciting, sad, and always entertaining. Now they've hit a very rough patch, and they've asked for help.

If you think you can help, please look at their recent blog entry and see what you can do.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Farming Pictures!

Finally, I have the pictures! Here are some images of our Victory Garden:

These are the tires that will eventually become potatoes. We need many, MANY more tires. If you can see the tiny white thing at the far end of the field on the right of the picture, that's technically the space we've allotted to tires for potatoes (and sweet potatoes). We want them to eventually be three high, but you start with two, fill them with manure or dirt or compost, and plant the potatoes one to a tire. When they start to get tall green tops, add another tire, fill with more dirt (yes, you can bury some of the leaves, provided a few are left out to get sunshine), and you're done. They rarely need weeding, if at all, and there is NO DIGGING with this method. Just kick over the tire tower, pull the tires out of the way, and there are your taters, winking at you.

This is a view from part way down the garden, looking back toward the house. I took it to give you an idea of size... Those are the tires, down there to the right. The small red girl is our toddler, and she's only 3 and quite petite. The part of the garden you're seeing is about one fifth of the entire garden. Maybe one sixth. Huzzah!

Here we have an image of the beautiful row of peas I did. We have three types of peas: Tall Telephone (pictured here), Sugar Snap, and Provider. We have (drum roll please) about 500 FEET of peas! There's at least 250 feet down the way, and we have double rows. Wow... Some of our peas may actually make it past the garden boundaries this year! (Normally, children and sometimes naughty adults eat the peas before they make it into the house.)

This is an image looking at the garden from the wood lot beside the house. The tires are in the middle of the image, and mark the start of the garden itself. It goes alllllll the way down that field, almost to the barn you see in the way back, there.

Beautiful garden. This is just the "early crop" plot: spinach, lettuce, parsnips, turnips, beets, onions (both yellow and red), and radishes. Nothing is yet peeping out, as we only planted on Sunday. I keep hoping, though! The rain we're having is excellent stuff, and is likely working its magic on our seeds as I type.

We also have several plants in flats, some of which are still under grow lights and some of which are out on the porch being "shocked" before we put them in the ground. I'm very excited about the garden this year. I look forward to having a row of zucchini that I actually can't eat all of! :) Our family easily goes through the produce of a 50 foot row of zucchini plants. Yum!

I'll plant more pictures as things come up.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Busy days planting!

Well, I'm sitting down. :) This morning started early, for me at least. We were up and moving by 8am. Breakfast was over and done with by 8:30am, and most of us were out the door before 9am. We have a Victory Garden that covers a bit over a half acre, being about 400 feet long by approximately 60 feet wide. My goodness.

We strung out what was supposed to be the onion and parsnip bed today, but once we got a row and a half of onions done, we realized that we needed more onions and we had a dang huge garden. I believe our onion bed is 50 feet long and 20 feet wide. We ended up (after a quick trip to Agway for more onions!) with approximately 250 feet of yellow onions and 30 feet of red onions, and 20 feet of garlic.

Then there was one 50 foot row of parsnips, one 50 foot row of turnips, and then about 30 feet of lettuce, 30 feet of spinach, and another 50 feet of swiss chard. And then we did the peas. Oh. My. Gods. We ended up with something like 400 feet of peas! We did a third of it in sugar snap peas, a third of it in tall telephone peas, and the last third in a shell pea called provider or provender or something like that. Wow.

We put out our tires, and realized we need a lot more. They'll be filled with dirt, and then they'll get their potato cuttings in them. As they grow, we add tires, building it up with dirt and manure. When the green tops die off, we just kick over the stack of tires, and reveal lovely globes of delicious potatoes. No digging necessary. Hot damn! lol...

After I was done with all the planting, I went to the upper field which is currently being tilled under to become our orchard. We've taken 2 of the 15 cleared acres for our orchard, an area protected on three sides by tall, well established trees such as pines and maples. Most of the 15 acres will be devoted to widely spaced trees surrounded by red clover. The very end of the orchard will host our trailer, which will get put on either a pad, or on leveled stones. In any case, I didn't go up to watch Amo, even though it's fascinating. He's been driving the tiller over the 2 acres for about 14 hours total now, and he's still not done. 2 acres is a LOT of land to till over with a tiny little John Deere. We're managing, though! Anyhow, I was there to dig up stones. The big tiller used by the farmers who've been planting corn on this land is huge enough that it doesn't notice the big stones. It ignores them. Our little wee tractor is almost bowled over by some of these behemoths. So sis and I spent our afternoon plucking out stones. Anything larger than a softball came out, and was piled along the edge of the field. Aha, a lesson in how to make field stone walls! LOL...

Tomorrow, provided it isn't raining cats and dogs, we'll ALL be up in the orchard, plucking stones and filling the tractor box with them. Then those stones will be taken over to the pile near the gravestones, and I will slowly turn them into a lovely field stone wall protecting the graves and a small area to either side of them. My shrine to Hecate will be there, too. :)

And now... now I'm going to take my nightly pills and pass out. I'll try and get some pics for you soon!