Friday, July 30, 2010

Potatoes are flowering beautifully, and this lone pepper is daring the rest to show up at the farm. There have been a few sunburst squash come home from the farm, too. Now that the mini irrigation system is 90% set up at the farm along with a digital timer, it has saved me having to show up every day before work (phew) and it has ensured that the veggies are getting the slow drip of water they need in clay-based soil. I was pretty sure that the plants were not getting enough water as it was running off the beds quickly. Thankfully this system seems to be working. The second challenge is that the plants are not growing...I say they're stunted...they are starting to produce a little, but I would like them to get to their full potential and I am not certain this will happen. This will result in a small harvest. The third challenge is that the lower leaves of some of the plants are yellowing...I think it is that they are not able to suck up the nutrients from the soil (which is likely partly the cause to the second challenge above). Their little roots are likely struggling in the chunky, clay soil. I put some fish fertilizer on last week and I noticed that helped. Looks like I might need to do that more often (weekly?)

The yellow onions in the picture above came out of the home garden. They are a bit early but their greens fell over and they were pushing their way out, so it was time! They are in the house on what was once the seedling shelves, curing. Some will be for storage for winter (if they are not all eaten by then). And the quinoa...look at that beautiful little cluster growing. I cannot wait to harvest the looks like this little crop is going to work out. Delightful! As you can see the peas are starting to poke out of the flowers. I love noticing this kind of detail with the veggies and then capturing it on film. Perhaps most people don't care where their peas come from, but I find it amazing that the pod grows out of the flower like this...(click on the picture to make it larger to get a good look at it...come on it only takes 5 seconds!) And tomatoes, glorious tomatoes. Albeit they are small, but their taste is huge! I love the changing colours, the fattening up they do, the fine little hairs on their branches, and the smell of the vine. Makes my tummy gurgle writing about them.

Recently I was talking to "the guy" who has been helpful in getting the farm up and running this year (he helped me secure the land and he is like my personal cheerleader--thank goodness for him) and he said it would be good to put the lessons learned here in my blog. So, keep an eye out for that post, likely multiple posts, as the lessons have been coming fast and furious. It's interesting how much the process of farming has taught me--and reminded me--about life in general. I look forward to sharing these little insights with you real soon. Once again, if you have happened upon this space today, welcome, and if you are returning, thank you for doing so. Your interest and support are much needed and appreciated.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

And the food is hitting the tummy....finally

These past two weeks have found me up every weekday morning (except one) watering at home and the farm before work. Wow! The sunny weather that I was singing for also brought a lot of HEAT! This created an opportunity for me to practice discipline, something I knew I needed to work on. And so far, so good.

And two nights ago I got to eat my first sunburst squash of the season...oh my goodness this is like eating sunshine (if this were possible). I LOVE these adorable little yellow bursts of goodness. They are perfectly named.

Also devoured this week was one beet--small but earthy and such a beautiful deep red colour; a variety of lettuces, greens, and green onions, too. Yumm yumm....

Look what I will be eating tomorrow night...

I am delighted that I have been able to grow brocolli this year. This is the first time and I am so excited! This one is from the home garden. I have a whole row of brocolli at the farm and fingers crossed it will produce as beautifully! Did you know that if you left brocolli to keep growing, each of the green buds we eat would flower? You're eating flower buds...many of them! I think I will leave one plant to flower so I can show you. Who knew? Certainly not me.

And right around the corner come the bell peppers that are growing well in the greenhouse (the ones in the ground are struggling a bit more).

So all in all, food is growing and food is getting eaten. I am becoming more disciplined. I am appreciative of the goodness growing. Delightful and yummy.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Here Comes the Sun!

Today was day one of sunshine, glorious sunshine. Apparently all my singing worked because the sun is supposed to stick around all week! I swear the jerusalem artichokes shot up a foot from when I left for work this morning and returned home this evening. WOW!

A visit out to the farm last night found some plants chugging along (cukes and squash), and some proudly displaying new leaves and beautiful colour (potatoes, broccoli, summer squash). I was also able to harvest these beautiful easter egg and cherry belle radishes (the first harvest from the farm!):

I was looking at my pics and I think it's neat to compare where we've come from since actually getting the plants in the ground in May. Here is what the home garden looked like in May (left) and this past weekend (right):

And here is the farm plot in May (left) and this past weekend (right):

It's starting to look very lush around here!

Tonight I went out and volunteered a couple of hours at a neighbour farm. These two women who are working as part of a group of four are incredibly inspiring. It was because of meeting them back in January that I decided to start farming this year. It was much fun to join them in the throngs of mosquitos (I must have a 100 bites all over my body) helping them save their melons from a pesky critter and weeding their carrot beds. They are helpful, insightful, strong, tenacious--inspiring women! Makes me want to head out and plant more food right now...but alas, it is getting dark and time to sleep, so that more farming can happen bright and early tomorrow. I will need to wake myself early to water at home and water at the farm (hopefully) before work begins and the heat descends. This getting up early thing is still a challenge...I am not much of a morning person so it is going to require me stepping up in the discipline department!

Until next time...thanks for visiting.