The season is in full swing and we are having a grand time living on the farm property. Keeping up with the pond systems and the many flower gardens is proving to be a task in itself, but thanks to the help of friends and family we are starting to settle in.
Construction seems to be a theme on the farm as of late. We have improved our wash station area with a small shed roof and plumbed in new water hydrants for a more functional system. We also just completed a new high tunnel thanks to a grant from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service who provided the financial assistance for us to construct the new structure. The program is part of a trial which will determine the effectiveness in conserving water, reducing pesticide use, maintaining vital soil nutrients, and increasing crop yields. We have decided to plant a crop of cucumbers inside it to supply the market with cukes in the fall.
We are also experimenting with the greenhouse on the property which houses a number of fish ponds. We’ve been feeding the fish waste water to our potted heirloom tomatoes inside. So far they seem happy and are quite green. We are hoping for a smaller but delicious crop of late tomatoes on top of the 800 plants we are growing indoors and out.
We are planning on floating trays of basil and lettuce to experiment with what we can grow hydroponically. With most of our tillable land already in production, we are trying to maximize the land and greenhouse space potential in a variety of ways. We hope to trial some trout next year in the outdoor ponds.
We put a lot of extra care into our garlic harvest this year. It has been a task hanging everything and laying it out to dry in our seed starting house. So far it appears that our garlic is curing perfectly and will be sell-able well into the winter.
We have again planted about 3 acres of potatoes. Unfortunately, some of the spud plants on our home turf have become ridden with blight and won’t be good producers. Fortunately we have a field planted just across the river in downtown Adna. A friend who Josh has known for years offered up 1.5 acres of ground for us to plant potatoes and it is looking beautiful. We are optimistic that it won’t be a total bust this year.
Two new pieces of equipment have joined the line-up this summer. The basket weeder we purchased is turning out to be instrumental in keeping the weeds controlled in our later plantings. It is a very old implement, but works perfectly on our Super A tractor. We also had a root digger constructed. The four foot knife sucks under the soil and lifts the soil to allow the crop to be harvested with great ease. So far we’ve had success with garlic and carrots. We are looking forward to using it on parsnips and salsify this fall. Both pieces will save us many labor hours.
Next on the agenda….cleaning the old chicken coop to prepare for our baby ducks! We quite enjoy duck eggs and are looking forward to having our own. Apparently they love eating slugs and we’ve got a buffet of them to offer around the ponds!