Saturday, June 2, 2012

A new farm bill may soon be passed.  And while we clearly need to protect our farmers, maaaaybe the priorities are a bit skewed:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tomato Question

Hi everyone,

I have a tomato question.  As you can see from the video, we're training the tomatoes to twine.  We use the neat little tomato clips.  To do that, you have to sucker them, which is basically, removing the growth between the main vine and the compound leaf (basically a side branch that is all leaves).  You can search online and find probably hundreds of posts and videos about suckering tomatoes.

Here's the trick - sometimes, the main vine 'splits' into two main vines.  Makes it real hard to pinch off a sucker when the sucker is half of the main vine.  Especially when the neither 'side' is dominant.  The fact that the plant is doing that, makes me also wonder if pinching (or cutting) off half of the main vine is a good idea.

What to do?  Of course I can leave it and hope that there are now just two main vines to deal with, albiet the extra twine and work that'll require.  Any other ideas?

Here are some pictures of what I'm talking about.  As you can see, there is no compound leaf (still thinking of the best word here) at the base of the split, which would mean that I missed a pinch-off:

Overdue Garden Update

Decided enough was enough.  Time to get some media online.

If a picture is worth a thousand words then a video... heck, depends on the frame rate but a lot.  Oh, the video is about a week old now.  Things have moved along quite nicely, especially the climbing trellis:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

beds beds beds

Well, it's time to make the beds.

We've got 50 tomato seedlings going (5 varieties), 10 squash (to be thinned to 5 when the plants get huge), 10 peppers, piles of basil.  And a few extra to thin for vigor.  Soon we'll be planting the next series.  We got a heating mat (4' by 2') for germination and now have 6 fluorescent lights going (using p-cord to raise and lower them).  While just about everything has germinated, we're using the heating mat to (hopefully) keep the little seedlings as happy as we can get.

I wonder how we're going to do it when the seedlings get big enough to transplant into bigger pots.  Seems like we'll need to at least double the amount of light.  Phew.  And Hmm.

The bed situation is quite interesting too.  As per Eliot Colman's suggestion, they're 30" wide.  That makes it easy to straddle them to work on them.  And there are plenty of garden carts that can ride the paths too, to help with harvesting.  We've made them 15' long, basically to fit into our yard as tetris-y as possible.  Who knows tho, huh?

One little trick - there seems to be an old french drain buried across a whole bunch of beds.  I'm guessing that because I'm finding shards of what looks like oooooold pipe.  And, of course, a spectacular amount of river rock.  It took me a few iterations but I've developed a system for getting the rock out, to a depth of 2'. Wire mesh over a wheelbarrow.  Screen out the rocks and save the decent soil (and smaller pebbles) that falls down.  It'll take a while, but when it'll be done, it'll really be done.  Umm...hopefully, that is.


Monday, March 21, 2011

New Menu!

That's right!  If you click the menu link above, it no longer takes you to "Fall 2010" but to the brand spankin' new "Spring 2011".  Take a peek!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Garden Update

Since I'm in front of the machine...

So everything has been flour-sacked and leaf-mulched for a few weeks now.  I've begun the process of finding the best places for beds.  Had a nice epiphany while sitting with Maizie in the yard a little while back - every bed should be the same size. Sounds obvious now but with our very irregularly shaped growing area I was thinking we might have to get creative and tuck things into non-straight rows. There I go again, adding unneeded complexity.

Speaking of unneeded complexity, Anni and I aren't rushing in the least bit to get plants into the ground. Better to take it slow and do it right than to rush things and have to do a lot more. And since we'll eventually be having things growing year-round we'll just start planting when everything's ready. Phew.