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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Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This week’s CSA box has lettuce, summer cabbage, carrots, kale, green beans, radishes, potatoes, bok choy, Walla Walla Sweet onions, and parsley Field Notes.  Mulching the garden continues.  Ken is cultivating, wheel hoeing and mulching.  He also planted six flats of fall crops one evening last week.  He transplants in the evening so the plants experience less shock and recover to grow more quickly. Ken is tying up tomatoes weekly as …

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To Mulch or Not to Mulch?

Each season Ken makes a decision whether to mulch or not. If he decides not to mulch he plants a green manure crop.  When it is hot or dry and the green manure won’t sprout, it’s a good time to mulch.     Both mulch and green manures cover bare areas.  They retain moisture in times of drought.  They moderate the soil temperature to promote microbial life in the soil.  The weed germination and pressure on …

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Here a Chick, There a Chick…

Ken has always encouraged broody hens to hatch chicks.  A few years back when the price of day old chicks went to $4 each, Ken got serious about hatching out chickens to replace older laying hens.  A chick grows into either a pullet (female) or cockerel (male), and then as adult they are hens or roosters.  Pullets grow for about six months before they lay eggs.  Their first eggs are small and people call them …

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Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This week’s CSA box has lettuce, spinach, bok choy, green onions, radishes, beans, cabbage, zucchini, broccoli, anise hyssop and thyme. Field Notes Temperature fluctuations are extreme this week; we had a sweltering day Saturday and a cool easy to work day Sunday.  The temperature spread was about thirty degrees. This is stressful on the plants and animals (and farmers).  We are hoping for more moderate temperature swings. Ken has been wheel …

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Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This week’s CSA box has summer spinach, chard, kale, mixed brassica greens, beet thins, bok choy, green onions, rutabagas, and herbs – parsley and marjoram and the last of the strawberries     Field Notes.  Ken has been planting and weeding.  He plants some crops like greens throughout the season.  Others like peppers he plants and transplants once. As the plants grow he keeps the plants ahead of the weeds so …

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