So it is officially Spring! Feel free to insert your own personal happy dance here! Seriously no matter what is going on nothing seems to lift my spirits like a clear blue sky! We have been very studious over the last month or so as we have enjoyed the weather. Check out what we have been into!
We have throughly enjoyed getting back into the swing of things. Daily watering, weeding, bug inspections, and such make us feel like real farmers again.
In addition to farm planting, this year we are really working towards creating more curb appeal at our home. Our home is one of two homes you get a visual of when you pull into our neighborhood. While we love growing vegetables and think that they are just gorgeous, we know not everyone may feel the same way. Therefore we have decided to dress up our raised beds a bit to create a little visual interest. We also added vertical trellises using cattle panel. These will be used for pumpkin and smaller melons. We also are working on a little farm retreat off the front porch. It is in this area that we have established a second asparagus bed. We planted the standard crowns but also ventured on the wild side and planted a purple variety as well. They both came up in a weeks time. This area also boasts our perennial flowers. They were so beautiful this year. It seems they bloom earlier and earlier each season. To this bed we will be adding aromatic herbs such as basil and lavender. Inter planted in this bed is also a new eggplant variety – Casper Eggplant. It doesn’t look like much now but give it about 2 months!
We also planted zucchini plants in this retreat area. As you can imagine with the cooler night temps we had over the last few days we were a little concerned about them. We used a tried and true method to protect them and we are happy to say that all survived unscathed. You can see what we did here.
This month Hoopty got beans, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, and cucumbers. We grew some great varieties of these last year and see no need to change them up this year. We did learn NOT to plant okra in Hoopty so that was planted elsewhere.
Lettuce, spinach, arugula, turnips, and snap beans have have been planted. Potatoes are going in the ground… finally… this week.
More compost is being worked into the remaining beds that need planting. Into those beds will go potatoes and corn. Peanuts will be planted in the high tunnel (this is a first for us) this month too. In addition our new pepper plants are about to find their forever home in the high tunnel this month. We are adding 4 new pepper varieties to the farm this year. These new varieties will take our pepper jellies to the next level this Summer!
What We Are Harvesting
Monday morning we began to harvest the early carrots. They are so good! After this batch is harvested it will be another 3 weeks (more or less) before the next batch is ready. Grab yours while you can. We harvest to order so fresh it is!
For the first time (successfully) we planted our fennel in succession. We also planted leaf and a bulb type. Currently they are both being harvested. We love to freeze it when we have more than we can get to quickly. We just pull it out when ready and add to soups and smoothies.
While our flat leaf parsley has gone to seed our curled variety is hanging in there so it is up for grabs.
Swiss Chard, eggplant, and pepper varieties are all being harvested from the high tunnel. As soon as the temperatures warmed the flowers started appearing and now life is just doing what it is programed to do and I absolutely love it!
We announced a little while ago that we have started a YouTube channel. Most of our video content is being uploaded there as opposed to IGTV. There you can follow our journey and learn with us. We also share tips and tricks we have learned on our little farming adventure. Included in these are helpful tools, equipment, soil amendments, & fertilizers etc. We appreciate your support of this endeavor. Eventually we hope to grow our brand even more so please to like, subscribe and share!
You may know that recently we integrated ladybugs into our high tunnel to assist us in getting the aphid population down. It worked very well. The next step in our pest management program is to remove the current netting and replace it with a looser one that will allow for beneficial insects to come and go. We hope to get that up this weekend. Of course this will mean more access to pests however minimal. We are so thankful for the assistance with this from our entomologist Dr. Ayanava Majumdar, aka the bug doctor, for helping us work out just what we need to do to improve our pest management program. If you access to an extension office in your area we advise you to take advantage of all the knowledge that exist there. It could save you time, money, and a lot of heartache.
Shena’s Baked Creations
We really enjoyed having this shop page open for you guys this past Fall – Winter. We have contemplated if we wanted to continue it throughout the Spring & Summer. While we would love to we have decided to take the modest route and not. We plan to reopen in the Fall. We will let you know as soon as we have an official date.
And Now This…
You may notice that this blog is a few days late. On Monday morning I was attempting to finalize it but time got away from me. I had some errands to run. We left the house to do these around 9:20 a.m. About 10 minuets later we were involved in an vehicular accident. I have to say it was very frightening. After seeing all the airbags deployed and the condition of the the vehicle after the fact I can honestly say that I don’t think I would ever drive any other minivan besides a Toyota Sienna. The safety features all worked as they should have and I’m know that had a lot to do with our lives being preserved. All parties involved are fine.
We adjusted our deliveries for a few days in order to get a grip on what happened, to heal both physically and emotionally. No one likes to talk about the trauma that occurs emotionally when an accident happens. Some even experience a sort of PTSD and it is so understandable. In 2017 we had an accident in the same vehicle pictured below. For months I tried to avoid the intersection where it happened as I got very tense when getting close. It felt silly. I felt silly. I prayed and prayed about it as the intersection is in the route of many of our daily destinations. Over the last few years it has gotten easier and easier to travel that stretch of road without feeling nervous. As I have talked to others who have had multiple accidents or a really bad one, they say that it left an emotional scar. They express that it is not something you ever really get over, rather you just learn to cope. Several of those lost dear loved ones and friends while others suffered serious injuries and then others miraculously escaped with little injury at all. Whether extreme or not these things take a toll on our existence. So if you ever experience this don’t feel ashamed at all. I certainly do not.
The very next day after our recent accident I had to complete the business I was leaving to complete the morning before as it was time sensitive. As I got into our truck and adjusted the seats, steering wheel, and mirrors, I admittedly felt some nervousness. I prayed. Being in a big Ram truck certainly made me feel a little better too. The soreness is real. I type this blog 2 days after the incident and everything hurts but what a small price to pay!
We wish you and yours well and we will catch you in May!