posts tagged with 'farming'

the garden in January

a coating of snow on the garden in the morning

waiting patiently

Not much happening in the garden this month, of course. Mainly I'm wishing there was more snow on the beds and hoping that the house they're building just over the property line won't be so big that it shades us out completely. There is a little movement though: at Backyard Farm Club this afternoon—sitting around the fire close by the garden—we started thinking about what seeds we want to buy and share this year. Less than two months til the first ones hit the dirt!

the garden in early November

the garden on November 2, mostly bare beds

fewer plants, more dirt

We had a freeze—a few freezes—so the garden looks very different from last month! Tomatoes, peppers, beans, zinnias... all gone. Before the freeze the boys pulled the last carrots, and I brought in a couple more butternut squashes. But not everything is done: kale and other random greens are still going great, and the late second crop of peas is just starting to flower... we may even get to eat a handful, something I had no expectation of when I planted them. And the raspberries are giving us their fall crop: just a couple dozen berries, but extra delicious!

kale edged with ice in the garden

the kale at least doesn't mind the ice!

Now it's also time to start working for next year. We planted the garlic this morning, and soon the empty beds will be tucked in for the winter with a nice blanket of leaf mulch or straw. A couple weeks ago we made a new bed for strawberries. And of course all the dead plants, weeds, and old mulch is going into the compost pile, which is getting pretty big!

Will there be anything happening in the garden in December?


the garden in early(ish) October

October garden

garden color

The garden has been in passive mode the last few weeks. I think I hoed the paths once, otherwise we've just been ignoring it except to raid it for food: carrots, kale, and peppers mostly. We're still getting a few tomatoes, and I've brought in one butternut squash; the rest are curing on the vines for a couple more days. The kids dug the potatoes last week with Backyard Farm Club friends.

Pretty soon we'll be getting to work again, clearing beds and putting down compost and mulch. And planting the garlic: next year's garden starts soon!

the garden in mid September

the garden on September 15

the sun setting on the garden

It's a little dark in that picture, because I forgot to take it until quite late in the afternoon—just like I've been forgetting about the garden generally these days. There's so much else going on! And it's definitely on a downward slide, especially the tomatoes: after the first rain of their lives, practically, they're trying to catch up on the blight-related decay they missed all the rest of their existence. But I can't complain, since we can still get a meal's worth of cherry tomatoes any time we want, and there are some fine slicers among the rot. The second sowing of peas might be too little too late but the new lettuces and kales are doing great, and the old beans are holding on strong. We'll start harvesting winter squashes soon; there's not a lot, but it's more than last year. And of course there are the apples! All in all, I think we did alright this year, and if the rest of life slows down for a second I'm looking forward to getting out there to start getting ready for next year's growing!

the garden in early September

the garden on September 4

some growth, some death

We still have a garden. Blight is starting to damage the tomato plants, and nearly all of the sweet peppers have rotted. Inconsistent watering? No idea. We'll try again next year! On the other hand, I picked off all the gross woody beans and tossed them, and with even more watering we're starting to get some good ones again. And there was even one more cucumber! And even with the blight, we still have way more tomatoes than we can eat, and the hot peppers mostly aren't rotting. The new kale is good, too: the seedlings six or eight inches high, and we've had our first baby kale salad. There will be more to come, or else they won't have room to ever get big!

lots of young kale plants

netted against bunnies

red birds-eye peppers growing

just the right height for toddlers to pick and eat!

(By the way, I also belatedly put up the updates from early August and mid August. I had taken notes so they aren't completely made up...)


the garden in mid August

the garden on August 16

everything still mostly alive

It finally got a little bit cooler... or a lot cooler! Puts me into fall mode, though I suppose there's still some summer left. Certainly lots of tomatoes to eat! Sadly the cucumbers have pretty much all succumbed to bacterial wilt and drought, and the beans turned gross and woody. And worst of all some of the peppers are rotting as they ripen! So frustrating. But the winter squashes are ripening up, and there's always the tomatoes. Also I sowed some more kale in the bed where the garlic was, and it's coming up beautifully!

a row of tomato plants with lots of ripe tomatoes

how will we ever eat them all?!

kale seedlings mulched with salt marsh hay

the next generation


the garden in early August

the garden on August 5

there's an empty bed there

The garden is keeping on, and we didn't miss too much when we were away. The tomatoes are loving the crazy heat, but the beans and cucumbers aren't too sure about it. We harvested garlic, and some of them are record-breakers! (for me at least; I have no concept of what is actually record-breaking garlic at, you know, the state fair or whatever). We're also picking as many boxes of fancy cherry tomato blends as ever we could want... that's what this gardening thing is about!

a pint of multicolored cherry tomatoes

like five dollars' worth


some more colors


the garden in mid July

July 17

As predicted, we got our first tomatoes before the middle of July. Just barely: maybe three or four cherry tomatoes. But the big ones are ripening up nicely! We're also picking lots of beans, cucumbers, and blueberries. And watering a lot... I sure wish it would rain! The peas can't stand the heat and are totally done, along with all the greens but kale. Good thing we love kale!

berry money

Before we went to the farmers market today the boys and I picked berries: two pints each of raspberries and blueberries. So we didn't need to buy any there. But I couldn't help but notice the pricing on what the farmers brought! We were delighted to note that we'd brought in $32 worth of fresh-picked delight in not more than half an hour. It made us feel plenty rich enough to be able to spend big bucks on fancy market baked goods!

the garden in early July

the garden on July 3

July 3

Things continue to move along in the garden. Since the last update we've eaten lots of snap peas, and picked the first cucumber and zucchinis. Raspberries and black raspberries are ripening faster than we can pick them (though Lijah is doing his best!) and we've even had a few blueberries already (seems ahead of schedule). Were also picking herbs (basil, cilantro, mint, oregano...), baby spinach and chard, rhubarb, and kale. Lots of kale. Next up is beans: the bush beans will be ready in two or three days it looks like. And, most exciting, we might see a tomato before the next update! Here's hoping.

closeup of just-ripe blueberries


green tomatoes

encouraging growth

a lower view of the garden, looking across the row of peppers

looking through the peppers