Making Compost

Each season Ken makes compost. Each year he combines the winter chicken bedding with hay and straw and leaves and other organic matter that varies from year to year.  In the past he shoveled chicken bedding and shook out all the baled hay.  A few years back he purchased a manure spreader.  The manure spreader breaks clods, shakes out hay and mixes the components beautifully.   He loads the spreader, cuts the baling twine, and …

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Rye Update

The inside circle on the drive has changed a great deal.. Ken just mowed the rye he had planted late last season.         Last year during the spring Ken dug up the perennial flowers and I divided them and removed as many weeds as possible         Then he ran chickens through the area to scratch       Next he ran pigs through to dig it up     …

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Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This week’s CSA box has tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, onions, basil, beans, carrots, and parsley     Field Notes.  Planting, mulching, and harvesting continue.  As the days shorten this becomes more of a juggling act!  Ken picks several crops like tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, etc several times a week; that takes a chunk of time.  He spent part of Sunday making next year’s compost.   In the midst of all this I …

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Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This week’s CSA box has tomatoes, potatoes, beets, chard, zucchini, cucumbers, green peppers, beans, Walla Walla sweet onions, and parsley.     Field Notes.  Ken has been transplanting fall crops.  We dug the garlic and it is curing on racks.  Ken keeps up with weekly tasks like tying up tomatoes. Fun fact: Daylight shortens three minutes each day during August.  Several cultures have a harvest holiday in August; In old Celtic …

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Sequential Plantings

Over the course of a season Ken will plant a crop, harvest it, and plant another crop.  This sequence is repeated throughout the season.  An example of this is one area of the garden where Ken prepared a space in the garden last fall.   Then he planted garlic which grew from fall through this week.         Once pulled, he had space to transplant fall greens.

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A Summer Shower

The soil was dry.  Ken has gotten hoses out to irrigate.  This afternoon we had a lovely summer shower.  Although it was brief, the dust settled, the steam rose from the ground and the rain barrel filled.  All good.

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Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This week’s CSA box has cabbage, kohlrabi, potatoes, green peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, onions, and parsley   Field Notes.  Ken got a new area set up for the pigs, and we moved them Friday.   Ken is also irrigating green houses, planting fall crops, and more.  The soil is dry, but I am careful what I wish for – some friends  just got six inches of rain!   Ken checked his …

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Thank You, Pollinators!

About a third of our food requires pollination.  Any food crop that flowers and sets fruit like apples and many vegetables like peas, beans, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and berries needs an insect or bird or even some mammal to pollinate the flower for a successful harvest.   We have a good population of native pollinators like bumblebees here.           This week I have seen some Monarch butterflies, too.  And …

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When the Pigs Get Out…

Once you get animals you have fences to maintain.  Here we have pigs.  Ken moves them frequently so they have new ground to dig, they get exercise and are not bored.   This year part of the rotation was to have them dig up the turkey yard.  They did a great job and Ken has intended to move them, but weeds, transplanting, appointments and such got priority.  Today Ken left for an appointment – even …

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Bee Hive Maintenance

Ken has had bees for years.  At first having bees was fairly easy – hive checks, routine maintenance, taking off honey, preparing for winter , and such.      Then he started losing bees, and it has been a struggle to maintain a healthy hive.        Large honey producers ship hives south and west for the winter.  People are paid to pollinate crops like almonds in California.    Many bees  in one location …

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