Oregon didn’t fall off the face of the planet…We promise!

11 06 2008

Hello, everyone. It has been AGES since we have gotten anything up here, and we are really really sorry about that. We have just had so much to do with the farm, and getting ready for the baby, and everything else.

I had to check and see what all we had written about last, just so I can tell what we have done since then. And it is ridiculous that I haven’t written in nearly a month. So, we have expanded the field. Over doubling the size of what we were working with in just the orchard area. And Chad borrowed the neighbor’s Kubota to distribute the new round of compost we had ordered (by the way, when we ordered this time around we paid about 25% more than we did the first time. This was due to increased gas prices, and time of year being more conducive to gardening…Bottom line: buy all that you need the first time around. Argh.), which made things go much much faster setting up the beds than last time when Chad did every single load of compost by hand  with a shovel and a wheelbarrow. We erected the fencing around the field expansion in sweltering heat, and in a rush to finish because the sun was going down and that is when the deer come, and also it was a Monday, so Chad and I had to get our butts to birthing class to practice labor positions and relaxation techniques. We were working so fast and it was so hot–Kirby and I were nearly passing out and at one point had to have Chad hose us down so we could keep working.

On Memorial Day, Kirby, Chad and I planted 104 tomato plants of various sizes and 12-14 different varieties.  We treated each transplant with Dr Earth’s transplant fertilizer, and then some fish bone meal. This was important because to get your plants to fruit, you have to add a high phosphorus fertilizer. Tomatoes also vitally need calcium to avoid blossom end rot, which of course you find calcium in bones… So we added that, got the tomatoes in the ground, and then top fertilized with organic chicken manure fertilizer.

We planted around 70 pepper plants, both sweet and hot peppers, then a few dozen eggplants. We filled in the row with quite a few different basil varieties.

So those are the 3 most Northern rows in the new section of the field. The eastern half of the next 3 rows were our second succession planting of sweet corn. To fill in the these rows, we got 4 kinds of cucumbers planted (pickling and slicing), summer squashes (including my luffa gourds! I am so excited! I have to give a shout out to my Aunt Chris and Uncle Jerry for always growing these and processing them into sponges–Thanks guys!)

The next rows are all winter squash and pumpkins. These plants take up a lot of room eventually, but in the meantime, we are interplanting lettuce and flowers to maximize our space and our irrigation.

Chad has spent a lot of time getting a permanent irrigation system set-up, speaking of. He has poured over catalogs and consulted with so many people, and drawn sketch after sketch of our whole field to make everything easy and make sense, and also have it be expandable for when we grow.

We’ve rotated our chicken tractor a few times, and they love it. We have a few bugs to work out with it–like the watering system and the nesting boxes. But they look like real chickens now! The other chickens are big enough to be allowed out into the yard area of the coop. They like it a lot.

Our peas have bloomed, have started forming pods, have filled out, and are just about ready to harvest. We probably won’t get as many as we should have–stupid weevils.

Our first round of lettuce greens has been harvested and sold to a restaurant in town. Our broccoli raab was harvested and sold at market. We have been getting tons and tons of strawberries (Kirby says this is her  best year ever for strawberries)–we have given some away, and we have gotten to keep some too. The best ones are the ones I eat while I am picking them straight out of the patch. We have sold a couple more rounds of french breakfast radishes. And our CSA membership is up to 7 shares! We are putting out our first boxes for them this Friday. We will be including turnips, peas, greens, kale, strawberries, herbs, radishes…And whatever else we can get that looks good.

Our blueberries are formed and ready to ripen; we need to protect them from birds. Our corn is about 6-8 inches tall, which rules. Beans are fighting the weevils way better than the peas did. I think that’s because they have the warm weather on their side. We pulled up a beet to peak at its progress, and it was a tiny little red beet! It was awesome. Our sunchokes are doing great–probably close to 2 feet tall. The carrot tops look wonderful, too–we can only hope that the roots are forming well. Same with the potatoes. By all assumptions based on their greens, we are going to have one hell of a potato harvest…They are looking so so good!

So, things are going pretty well around the farm. We have gotten fall seed catalogs in the mail, and need to think about late summer planting, both for fall harvest and for overwintering for early spring harvest. Bottom line? There is ALWAYS work to be done.

That is OK though, because Ben is only 30 minutes away as I type this. He will be such a huge help around here. I feel so relieved that Chad will have someone to rely on for farm assistance because I am getting lazier and lazier (hello a month between posts…)

Speaking of visitors, my mom gets here tomorrow! This will also be great so we can do all the last minute things we need for the baby. And then she can be here for the arrival of her first grandchild, so it is a win-win situation for all of us.

OK. Pictures to come. Soon. Of our chickens, and our tiny tiny tomatoes forming, and one more of me before I get to hold the baby in my arms!

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4 responses

12 06 2008
Steve

Wow! Sounds like you’re really farming!

I’d love to see some pics of the fields.

Don’t work too hard, Gabe. It may be your
last chance for quite a while.

And Chad no blog? Ugh.

13 06 2008
Barry

Sounds awesome!. Say hey to your mom for me. Send pics. Love you and miss you.

13 06 2008
dee

Can’t wait to come back. Especially to see the everyone and the baby. – dee

20 06 2008
Melissa

Love it! You guys are doing awesome. I have to come out and see everything you’ve done! I’m so impressed. Congrats on the new baby. She’s so sweet.

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