I had this brilliant idea. Or maybe we’ll just call it an idea. I am going to post pictures from around the farm every week. Or maybe it will be randomly when I find the time to take the pictures. It seems like I’m usually finishing up work and chores around the time it gets dark and it’s just not a good time to take pictures.
So I went and took pictures. I am going to post some of those pictures, but it seems that many were not in focus. Or the grass in the background was in focus, but the subject of my photo was not in focus. So I’m going to post some mediocre photos so you may sort of be able to tell what is growing on the farm. This idea went south fast (primarily due to my lack of photographic ability). I’ll try again another time, maybe with the camera on a different setting… like manual, and see if I can do better.
I really enjoy spring. I could just wander around looking at sprouts and buds and all the signs of life that reappear at this time of the year. In fact, I do sometimes just wander around looking, but then my wife cracks the whip and I get back to work. This is a photo of 1/2 of our greenhouse. There are things growing… and not all of them are weeds!
We are signed up for a market that starts in 16 days, and we don’t really have anything to sell yet. Our top hope is to have radishes. Did you know that radishes will ripen in under 40 days? It’s amazing. Come to market and we’ll sell you radishes. The radishes in this photo are an experiment to see if we can grow them entirely in this tray. So far so good. I really don’t like radishes myself, but it is quite possible that is all we’ll have on the first day of market. Maybe even for the first couple of weeks.
And after the radishes, we’ll have lettuce. These have a nice start, but I don’t think they will be big enough to be harvesting from on the first day of market. We’ll see. We also have some planted in the field, but they aren’t nearly this big. We’ll see what happens in the next couple of weeks.
Our sunflower sprouts are coming right along. Sunflowers have always been one of my favorite things to grow. These won’t be ready for market, but I’m excited to plant them around the farm and watch them grow into HUGE flowers.
Maybe you noticed above that many of our seeds are planted in little squares of dirt. We are trying this soil blocker thing to get our plants started. You use this special recipe of dirt that sticks together pretty well and you compress the dirt in these soil blockers that leave a little indentation in the top of the block. You drop the seeds in and cover them up and let them start. When it comes time to transplant, you just drop the soil block into the ground and pack dirt around it. I’m really excited that we aren’t dealing with little plastic planting things. We still have plastic flats that hold the soil blocks, but we’re using a lot less plastic than we otherwise would be using and I’m proud of that. Making blocks is time consuming, but I think it’s worth it. At least now it’s worth it, we’ll see further down the road.
The last photo before we leave the greenhouse is of our sweet potato. We’re going to try and grow this in the greenhouse this summer as an experiment. It has some sprouts on it and is ready to go. We just need to prepare some soil at some point after the ground in the greenhouse dries up a bit. It seems that someone opted to build the greenhouse on some pretty swampy land.
This is a picture of Ram after his hair cut. Notice that I didn’t say that I sheared him. That is because I wasn’t very good at it and I didn’t get very close to the skin. As you can see, he still has plenty of wool on him. He even still has some dangling balls of manure that jingle when he walks (it sounds like a Zumba belt). I was hoping to take care of that, but I failed. You will also notice the shield on his head. Ram has never been aggressive to people, but if you limit a ram’s ability to see forward (but he can still see to either side), they stop ramming things. I was hoping that this would increase the longevity of the shelter I built the sheep, but he still uses it as a scratching post and it gets more and more bent every day.
I’m really excited about our kiwi plants. They all have buds on them and are starting to grow I don’t know if you can see it on our male kiwi here, but the leaves are nearly formed and it’s about ready to take off. As soon as it stops raining and warms up a bit.
The final picture is a picture of our rows. This was pasture land just a couple of months ago. I tilled it 4 or 5 times and spent a lot of time killing grass (which I am positive is going to be coming up for the rest of the growing season) before I got to this point. In this photo you can see the row with stakes which has 3 rows of peas planted in it. To the left of the stakes is a row of potatoes. We have 5 varieties of potatoes, a red fleshed potato, a blue fleshed potato, a yellow fleshed potato, a white fleshed (and red skinned) potato and fingerlings. I’m excited for potatoes. To the right of the stakes we have rows containing lettuce, radishes, beats, mustard greens and other crops that are just beginning to pop up.
Thanks for joining me on the tour of the farm. I’m excited about how things are progressing. We have a long ways to go yet, but we’re getting there. I’ve got a few other things that I would like to post about, but I hope to do another photo tour when we can start seeing some differences. I like being able to see progress.