Sunday, June 19, 2011

Don't Misunderestimate Us This Year...

A bed by bed tour of our veggies.

The corn is only a couple inches high. We've had cool weather and lots of rain recently. I'm not holding my breath on the corn. It just might be too cool in our area. The aluminum foil polls are remnants of our crow-deterrent system. Basically, I strung sheets of aluminum foil across the corn - despite the white-trash aliens come hither look, it worked.

I mulched around the cucurbits with black landscaping fabric. Last year our cucurbits didn't do so well - maybe because of cool soil temperatures? Hopefully this helps a bit. Already the plants look bigger than at this time last year.

Our peas are starting to bloom. They're still pretty short, I thought these were supposed to get quite a bit taller? Behind is an empty patch that was recently seeded with beets, carrots and more beans. Originally we planted lima beans and then changed our minds before they had even germinated. At the far end of this bed is our little patch of outdoor lettuce. This is just starting to go.

Our middle bed is doing great! The strawberries are starting to ripen, the rhubarb has produced enough for several desserts and the herbs are also doing well. The asparagus is doing about as well as we expected for it's second season and the garlic we planted last fall is trucking along.

The 8 foot row of chives deserves it's own picture. I am planning on dividing some of these to plant in the landscaping in the front of the house. These were the first things I started from seed for our garden after our offer on the house was accepted about 2 years ago.

Picture proof that are strawberries are ripening.

Grow potatoes grow! We're growing german butterball, yukon gold, red pontiac, purple viking, delicata fingerlings and a mismatch of leftover potatoes from a few friends.

We've been getting a steady harvest of radishes that were planted between rows of carrots. We spaced the carrot rows 1 ft apart. I think next year that 18 inches would be better if radishes are to be inter-planted. The tomatoes are all doing well and have set a fair amount of fruit. The volunteer potatoes growing up between the tomatoes are also doing well, thanks for asking.

Our final veggie bed - the brassicas, etc. From foreground to background we have: Leftover leeks from last year, fennel, celery, broccoli, onions, broccoli, onions, kohlrabi, onions, cabbage and a bit of rainbow swiss chard for kicks. This bed loves the weather!

Look closely - the broccoli is starting to form heads! We have two rounds of broccoli out here. One group that I started in mid January and transplanted out to the greenhouse, then out to the garden. I think I might follow this cycle again next year because these plants are a month or more ahead of the rest of the broccoli.

Above is last night's harvest. We're up to our ears in lettuce in the greenhouse and have been giving/trading it as fast as we can. I'm loving the barter system. We've got lots of friends who are avid hunters and fisherman who have an excess of wild game, so we've been trading. So far we've gotten a few pounds of elk and venison steaks in trade for tomato and pepper seedlings, a few pounds of bear sausage for a bunch of lettuce and smoked salmon for lettuce. This has made for some delicious meals.

Our ladies were moved over to the future berry patch to help fertilize and prepare the ground. I've been reading Ruth Stout's book - The No Work Garden, and have decided to use some of her principles in the berry patch (namely - mulching with spoiled hay). We have a green manure crop under the hay and will be moving the chickens around this bed to eat some hay, eat the green manure and fertilize. This fall or next spring we'll stick our berry bushes in here.

We got all of our ladies in one picture! We have not lost a chicken yet. We're a little worried about them now that they're out of the securely fenced garden. I think that if a weasel or mink wanted in here, they could do it. Hopefully they stay away until we get the permanent chicken coop up. I'm leaning towards purchasing one on Craigslist and then building our own run. To me, that seems to be the cheapest way to get a nice looking coop. Building projects and the idea of going over budget scares me.. any ideas or plans that you would recommend for building one from scratch?


  1. Looks great! My broccoli isn't even close to growing fruit; mostly because the gophers keep sneaking in and eating the leaves. How will you "hill up" your potatoes once they get to about 12" tall? I'm considering hilling them with straw rather than dirt, but am not sure if that's craziness or not.

  2. We planted the potatoes in trenches. Once we hill them up a bit we'll have some reverse trenches. I think using straw is supposed to work as well as dirt - doesn't sound crazy to me.