Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Out with the old, in with the new

Took a lot of the spring stuff out Monday night, including the peas, broccoli, and the last mustard standing. The snap peas still had flowers but probably few prospects of producing, the other peas were old and full of pea weevils (the reason Carol Deppe doesn't grow peas for drying). The broccoli was still sending out sideshoots, but they were getting more and more pitiful (skinny and small and woody); they were massive plants!

I planted 3 Brussels Sprouts (Falstaff), 3 Overwintering Broccoli (Purple Sprouting) and 2-3 each of the four lettuces we've been growing all year (New Red Fire, Jericho Romaine, Green Deer Tongue, and Buttercrunch). These were sprouted in the little soil blocks, and I planted each in a 1/3 toilet paper tube collar, pushed it down over them with my palm.

I also untangled the beans, breaking quite a few leaves and shoots off, and got them started up a trellis, taken from the old peas. And we have our first ripe tomatoes! Don't know which ones yet, photo courtesy of Wojtek.

Harvesting lettuce again, and radishes, carrots, beets, and chard, and kale/lettuce from the greens patch, which is STILL GOING and is so bunched together that the lettuce hasn't bolted but is getting a little bitter. The kale leaves -- the ones not covered in aphids -- are young and tender. Throwing nasturtium and cilantro flowers in the salads. Yesterday I discovered some sort of little wasp among my greens and freed it! A parasitic wasp! I think. First I've seen.

Compost Tea

Jim Zamzow's Gardening Tip#11 from Zamzows Lawn, Garden, and Pet on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Old-timers talk about farming

Highlights include a great seed-starting setup, bird and bat houses, general thriftiness, canning, and the fact that they once raised all their own meat. A bit more info here, including the size of their farm -- 3.5 acres -- and their 150 hens that lay 12 dozen eggs every day in the spring, but only 5 dozen by the fall. Their favorite breed is the Americauna "because they are good layers, docile, and their blue-green eggs are beautiful as well as healthful (they are supposed to be lower in cholesterol)." Earl is 71, and credits the success of his farm to rabbit, chicken, and horse manure, and the lack of gophers to the owl houses he installed.

Guide to building birdhouses.

The Future of Farming in Vermont - on ThoughtCast from thoughtcast on Vimeo.

Rice in thePacific NW?

I can find no information about growing rice (outside of containers) in the Pacific Northwest. I realize we're not a wet summer climate, and Vermont is, but what about Fukuoka-style rice farming with only a briefly-flooded field?


Agroinnovations interview with Ben Falk, growing rice in Vermont
Bruce on temperate rice in Vermont (article)
Larry Korn on Fukuoka's method (video)

soil blocks - 3 days later

Seeds mostly all sprouted, except the chard and basil (starting). The lettuce already reaching toward the light, so I moved the trays out onto the deck for the day. Nice and overcast, hoping it stays that way so they don't get dried and fried by a wicked afternoon sun. Stuck them in a slightly sheltered corner of the deck, protected from direct rain and late afternoon sun, just in case.

Monday, July 11, 2011

fall/winter garden planning

It's on!

Seeds started in 3/4" soil blocks yesterday (all Territorial):

Broccoli "Purple Sprouting"
Brussels Sprouts "Falstaff"
Cauliflower "Cloud hybrid"
Broccoli "Di Ciccio"
Spinach "Savoy"
Lettuce, Loose Leaf "New Red Fire"
Lettuce, Butterhead "Buttercrunch"
Lettuce "Green Deer Tongue"
Lettuce, Romaine "Jericho"
Chard "Perpetual"
Chard "Fordhook Giant"
Kale "Red Russian"

The kale in the garden has nasty aphids. Trying to figure out what to do about that.

A quick sketch of what to do in July by NWedible