The Goings On – AUGUST 2021

She sighs as she comes in from the steaming hot dessert and runs to the refrigerator to get water! This has most certainly been the experience this past month! It was wet and muggy for so long that these past few dry days have seemed like such a gift! It was so hot but no rain means we have been able to weed, cultivate, and plant. These things a much needed here on the farm and we have been really excited to do so. Check out what we have been up to!

This Week’s Listings

Before we get to far into this week’s blog we just wanted to let you know what home grown goodness is available for you this week!

  • Arugula – last week for it till September
  • Swiss Chard – back up after a nice pruning and fertilizing
  • Salad Tomato
  • White Eggplant
  • Purple Snap Beans and more!

For a more detail listing of availability please check our out listings page.

Red Bell Peppers From Hoopty

Hoopty Updates

Working in the high tunnel in the Summer requires some creativity! Thankfully Mr. Bain Home Gardener anticipated the complexity of growing in the Summer and added motion sensor lights to Hoopty. This means that early morning before the sun fully rises is the ideal time to get to work! I personally do not prefer it as I do not want to run into any spiders who may be still on the hunt from the night before. However when it is needed – AND IT IS – I do what I must! Working early in the morning has made it possible to get all 13 row 20+ foot rows in Hoopty replanted or ready for Fall planting. It looks phenomenal! We will show you later this month in our Hoopty Update video. We have to take these moments in and really enjoy the labors of our hard work because the cycles change so quickly. Before you know it Hoopty will be overrun with weeds again. It just is what it is. Some of our rows have had cardboard placed down under the mulch to slow the regrowth of grass. See Hoopty was planted on top of a grass covered field. Had we understood solarization we would have done that the first Summer. We have learned as we have grown. We have implemented it in certain areas of the high tunnel (This just includes laying out a heavy tarp and weighing it down for a couple of months. The idea is that the heat will kill any weed or grass seeds beneath it) but since we grow year round in Hoopty it hasn’t been possible up to this point to solarize the entire 936 square feet.

In Hoopty we have done quite a bit of new planting. We have replanted our cucumbers, Asian greens, cut sunflowers, Bells of Ireland, and Delphinium. The month of August we have plans to set out a few more Roma and Beefsteak tomatoes as we lost many early in the season. Along with that we will be planting Swiss Chard, Kohlrabi, Carrots, Fennel early this month while collards, mustards, and kale MAY be planted this month. The greens are iffy because that means installing some shade cloth to keep these cool season crops from bolting or just stunting altogether. We did this last year and it worked very well but was time consuming. We are working on a more efficient way to accomplish this task. One idea is to use the rebar and pvc pipe we used over the winter to hang frost blankets over our peppers and eggplant. The idea seems feasible and will likely be implemented very soon. We will keep you posted. In the way of herbs we will be restarting basil, dill, and bunching onions.

Soy Beans being planted

Field & Raised Beds

We have gotten a lot done in our field areas this month. Among these tasks include prepping beds for Fall planting, planting winter squash and a succession planting of Summer squash. Summer squash could literally be planted every month on our farm. There are so many stink bugs, squash bugs and aphids that even with diligent care these become overrun quickly. What has extended the life of our squash and zucchini plants more than anything is companion planting. Planting them with flowers and basil has been a real success. Just guessing, I’d say that we get an extra month out of them with this method.

Our second planting of corn was eaten by birds – we literally watched them eat the seeds. The irony there is last planting had no issue with this problem. I just took it as a sign to leave the second planting off for the rest of the year. In that bed we will be succession planting more Arugula. Speaking of Arugula it is now up for grabs over on our listings page.

This month we will also be planting turnips. Each year we struggle with keeping the bugs off our turnips. This year I’m sure will be no different in fact looking at the projections it could actually be worse. We will implement covering with insect netting, regular spraying with BT, as well as dusting with DE in hopes to get our turnip crop to maturity without it looking like a victim of WWIII! Hida Beni & Salad Turnips are thanking us already!

We are dedicating one of our raised beds to Rhubarb this year. This should have been planted in the Spring and we do not even know if it will be successful from a Summer planting but we figured it was better than holding on to the bare roots till next Spring.

We a proud to say our Winter Squash varieties are in! We planted spaghetti, acorn, custard, and even pumpkin! It will be very interesting to see how successful we will be this year!

Farm Sampler Baskets

Farm Sampler Baskets are back and from the way things are growing here they will likely be around for the remainder of the Summer. These baskets contain goodies grown right here on our farm. If you want to include a jam or jelly in place of one of your produce items please let us know when you order. If there are specific produce items you would like in your basket, you can let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you depending on what is currently available. Also keep in mind that some items do not harvest well in the heat of the day. These items include herbs and leafy greens. If these are in your basket then expect that your basket will arrive late in the evening as we want to deliver long lasting produce to your door.

Food Preservation

One of the fun ways to preserve food is jams, jellies and preserves. We have been working on these and have made one of each this far this year. I was actually inspired by a fellow homesteader on Instagram who has the goal of preserving one food item a day for the month of August. I thought – wow how awesome and now I’ve joined the challenge! August 1st we canned our Blueberry Pear preserves. We already have used it on pancakes and used it as pie filling in a dump cake and it is sooo good! It is now listed on our listings page. Today we will be dehydrating basil and garlic for spice blends we will be making this week. What the rest of the month holds – WHO KNOWS – but this is exciting! You can check out our journey over on our IG channel under REELS.

Blueberry Pear Preserves while cooking

BHG Fresh Flowers Subscription

We are thrilled to announce that we are offering a Fall Flower Subscription. Sign up begins today and remains open until August 30th! Those that sign on or before August 15th will qualify for Early Bird sign up which awards you with a bonus delivery week! Deliveries will potentially begin September 30th and end October 4th. We are still flushing out the details for the dates so bear with us. What we do know is that these bouquets will be gorgeous containing anything from Zinnia to Sunflowers! As with our arrangements in the past each arrangement will have some edible portion whether it be an herb or flower. So your arrangement is not only beautiful but functional too!

You may have noted that in our Hoopty plantings mentioned above there were several flowers and filler plants have already been started for this subscription. We will continue to do so in succession to ensure you have your beautiful bouquets all 5 weeks of your subscription. If you do not think the subscription is for you then you can always buy your arrangements as they are available on the listings page although they will be at a higher cost. If the subscription is for you then you can find out all the details here.

YouTube

We are so happy to have gotten almost all of our planned videos recorded, edited, and uploaded for your viewing and learning pleasure. Just what can you expect to be uploaded the month of August?

  • All time favorite flower and why
  • Hoopty update
  • Chicken update
  • How to grow cucumbers and melons in containers