Monday, September 27, 2010

The Long Lost Farmer

When I went to the farm last week, look what I found...

The woman who leases me "the farm" (a.k.a. 'plot') has two new piglets. Look at how easy it is for them to turn up the soil. They are not on the plot with the veggies....yet. We are considering turning them loose on the farm and then planting winter rye to prep the soil for next year's planting. These piglets are such fun to watch! (Can you hear Sprinkle in the background talking 'turkey' with the funny!)

A couple of weeks before, this is what the farm looked like:

I must say when I arrived I felt quite downtrodden (and soggy). There had been so much rain and the timed irrigation system was also still working like a charm...which made for extremely wet conditions. Lots of the plants suffered with too much rain and not enough sun (for the second time this season). The peppers just gave in and there were none healthy enough to harvest. I can't bear to show you a picture of them.

Although it doesn't look lush, I did harvest a lot more than I expected...all the red potatoes were beautiful and delicious (probably 30-40 altogether); about 10-12 lemon cucumbers, which when fully yellow definitely taste like lemon; and tomatillos--yesssss--this crop is exciting!! All the crops I recently planted don't look like they will amount to much as the rain is trampling them...altho' possibly the winter squash might give a good fight to come to fruition (fingers crossed).

At home a couple of weeks ago I could not keep this little one from eating the gorgeous tomatoes on this thriving produced literally hundreds of sweet, rich tasting tomatoes. Now after all the rain the last two weeks there are sadly none left (and with my pup eating as many as she could sneak).

We managed to have some luck with peppers going red (although tiny, they are delightful)

And look how nicely the quinoa was coming along...turning fall colours as expected, just waiting for the seed to be big and strong enough to harvest and dry.

The problem was that the seeds were not developed enough to harvest; by my amateur estimation they needed a couple of weeks of sun to finish their growing. Instead, we got days and days of rain. I came home one night after work to find the tall stalks of autumn-coloured quinoa toppled over. My heart sank. I was so looking forward to harvesting this special crop. What a bummer.

This weekend began the garden clean up. Getting rid of the rotting tomatoes, and clearing the beds of overgrown or undergrown veggies. Trying to bring some order to what was once beautiful and is now a bit chaotic and messy.

Soon will be time to reflect on all the learning and make notes so that it can be used for next year rather than lost. A little melancholy is seeping in...sad to see the major growing season end; feeling disappointed that I didn't have more success in the growing; feeling soggy from all the rain (literally and emotionally). Yet, when I think that it will only be 4 more months before I begin seedlings again, I feel giddy and hopeful. Year two for Ripple Farm will be abundant...I just know it!

1 comment:

  1. I could use a couple of those little piggies in my garden.