The Goings On – October 2021

Why hello October! We are excited to see you! For a change we can actually feel it in the air. There has been so much activity here on the farm!

Reflection

When I look back at The Goings On for October 2020 I realized that this is the common thing this time of year for us. Last year it seems we had an abundance of eggplants as well. Our Scotch Bonnet Peppers reached their peak harvest period this month last year. This year, however they have been super productive since around June. This explains why we have several quarts in the freezer at the moment! I think the reason for this is that we over wintered some in Hoopty. We also replanted more in the high tunnel and in a raised bed. Yeah man – there’s plenty to go around!

Looking back I also see that we were harvesting Sweet Potatoes as well. I’m so hurt that we didn’t even plant them this year! What kind of homesteader am I – NO SWEET POTATOES?! See what happened was – of course this is how every outlandish story starts – I started the process of trying to order them super early. It must have been too early because the company we usually order from wasn’t even sure they were going to be able to order them this year because of shipping issues so they referred me to their supplier who quickly informed me that it was a couple months too early to order but to let them know what exactly I was looking for and they would email me once the slips are available to order. Here is the problem… once I sent them the information, my brain checked “buying Sweet Potato slips” of the to do list. So I’m sitting wondering where my slips are when I NEVER ORDERED THEM!!!! (FACEPALM) Yep, that happened. I blame it on the increased complicated nature of life due to COVID. This Fall/Winter we are building a deep raised bed that will be primarily used for root crops and planted with cover crop when not in use. I hope seeing this be will remind me to order appropriately! As a result I will not be able to offer the sweet potato bread this year in the Shena’s Baked Creations shop. Apologies folks. On the brighter side the shop will open on October 25th for preorders and stay open (baring unforeseen circumstances) till January sometime.

Last year our Asian greens where doing great! We already had one round in harvest mode while the next one had already been planted. This year we are one batch behind. We are also using a different variety of this year as well in an effort to find one more resistant to the beetles. We think we have found exactly what we need! They grow a tad bit slower but are holding up nicely!

Last year we started a few new crops to experiment with. One of these was Artichoke. We planted it in the high tunnel as well as in the field areas but neither did great. The most success was in the field areas which we will be trying again this month.

Last year our supplies for the community were more limited because were also planting for the Fall CSA. Since we are not currently participating in the CSA we have more options for our community and that in of itself is a reason to smile just a bit. We hope you guys take advantage of all our offerings over on our listings page or our Square Site. If you prefer you can always email or text us with a list of items you want to get and we can create a farm box for you and send an invoice. There are plenty of options for getting your home grown goodness!

Harvesting

Well if you haven’t noticed by our various Instagram and Facebook posts & videos peppers and eggplants are really overt the top right now! From sweet peppers to spicy peppers – all of them our growing so well right now. As a result we have been freezing the peppers to give me plenty to do this Winter when the farm chores are a bit lighter. As for the eggplant, the preservation technique of preference has certainly become dehydrating. We are using them quite a bit too in our weekly meal prep and also at breakfast. We also just learned how to make Baba Ganoush. Its a hit with this family!

We did get to harvest the potatoes and it was such a disappointment! The seed potatoes themselves weren’t even there! How is that possible?! Best we can figure is that due to the excessively wet season, perhaps they rotted and broke down in the soil. It was definitely one of the the strangest things to ever happen here on the farm. Our son, who was assigned the job, seemed to think I was pranking him because even at the worse harvest we have had in the past – SOMETHING was there. If you guys have any ideas as to what could have happened please do send me an email!

We just harvested arugula again and will be harvesting it once a month (if the planting schedule holds) through the Winter. That number could extend to every six weeks as the cooler months take hold.

Although it wasn’t a large harvest, in fact it was one single solitary pepper, we are so excited about it that we have to share with you that we harvested our very first Carolina Reaper pepper just this evening! You can celebrate this Bain Home Gardens first by watching the harvest here. Also the Fish Pepper plant that we found at Whole Foods is bearing beautifully! There are many peppers on the bush but we are waiting for them to turn red.

I am proud to say we have harvested the very last of the Thai beans for the year! These things have be so super abundant in their production this year that I literally became tired of harvesting, cooking, and preserving them! This is our third year planting them and I’m suspicious that they must just love the rain and heat we had this year because this is the by far the best year to date! We pulled them primarily because the leaf footed bugs and aphids were becoming an nuisance but I cannot say I was sad to see them go.

This month we also harvested a small soybean harvest. We had planted them with the mail purpose of serving as a cover crop but the harvest was a nice bonus.

Planting

This month is the month to plant our flowering bulbs, onions, and garlic. Although in our zone you can plant later, we find the most success when we plant in October. Beds are currently being amended to accommodate these heavy feeders. We are sticking with the garlic varieties that were successful for us this harvest season. We are primarily using our own seed stock to replant for this season while supplementing with a few we ordered. Finding success with the garlic crop this year means that we are in a new position to possibly offer our community Certified Naturally Grown seed stock come Fall of 2022! That prospect is absolutely mind blowing! Stay tuned!

As far as onions go we weren’t able to order sets before our sources were sold out. Now I am relegated to creating our own starts. For this I am late as well which leaves me no choice other than to plant these in the high tunnel. Besides that, I’m not very excited to plant onions because they are such a struggle for me. If it wasn’t for the fact that we use them so much I would probably would just give up on them altogether. Then I am reminded of the struggles I had with carrots & garlic – both of which we had a bumper crop of this year! The moral of this story is DON’T GIVE UP!

Last month we planted fennel, kale varieties, lettuce, parsnips, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, mustards, collards, peas, leaf broccoli, and swiss chard. You would think with all this planting we would be done for the season but that is just not the case! Some of these plantings were not successful for various reasons. We start early so as to allow enough time to restart if need be. Cabbage and broccoli are being stubborn for me so far but all a farmer can do is regroup and replant! I should coin that because that is quite literally my whole life these days!

Of the leafy greens we like to plant we have yet to plant spinach. Of the root crops yet (besides the aforementioned) to be planted is beets, turnips and a succession planting of carrots. As beds have been cleared and amended its clear we have the space to get these items planted, however, we just have to find the time!

We are taking what we learned last year and we are trying our hand at the artichoke again. I will be starting these indoors this evening!

The Flock

The flock is doing very well. I am very happy with just how well they are flourishing! Our brooder, Shrill-x has done it again and hatched out another chick. This one is not biologically hers but there is no telling her that! She does very well protecting her new chick and training it too. She gives Zig and Zag a run for their money at every feeding! Besides the newest chick she is the smallest chicken in the coop but it doesn’t matter – SHE IS MAMA! She trusts us with the chicks which is absolutely amazing! The chick on the other hand as you can see in this video does not! It is by far the noisiest chick I have ever heard! It was natural of course to name it Noisy! You can check out this video for more flock updates.

The Rabbits

Diamond on the way to the vet

We sadly lost 2 of our adult rabbits. It is amazing how quickly you can get attached to the little fur balls. To be on the safe side we took our doe to the vet. Did you know that rabbits are considered “exotic”. I find that ironic considering they are randomly in the wild all over our community. There is only one vet in our city that will see rabbits – one! Thankfully he is very knowledgeable and patient. He put her on a four week treatment & she is all clear. For those that have asked she has been mated to the buck and we should have kits available soon.

This Week’s Listings

This week we are making our Rosemary and Lemongrass available for purchase. The Lemongrass is only being offered the first two weeks of this month as we need to trim it back and mulch it soon to prepare it for the first frost. So if interested please grab it while it is available. Jalapenos were accidentally removed but have been added back. Arugula has also been relisted and Green Mustards remain this week until supplies are exhausted. For a full list of what is currently available head on over to the listings page.

Well that about covers it! See you in November!