Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I did start up my Subscription service today. It's basically an email list that I will use to inform my subscribers when things are ready to buy from the farm. It's one in a growing list of experiments regarding this venture! Also something exciting, or nerve-racking: tomorrow I'll be getting inspected by the Charleston Farmers' Market Growers Association members. They'll come out to check out my farm, make sure that I'm following natural, organic-like, growing practices, and that I'm growing what I say I'll be selling. It's to retain their integrity, and I'm all for it. But I feel a bit like I'm taking a test or facing the authorities... and they might tell me I'm not ready for their group, or they might laugh at the way I'm doing things...all kinds of ways for me to worry about it! I did take a look at the garden with a critical eye this afternoon, and spent a frantic hour weeding. I'm learning how to weed with a hoe, and made great strides today. It really makes some quick work against those weeds. There are still too many weeds out there, but at least it looks a little better. Wish me luck!
One final note: they've arrived: the 13-year cicadas! Many of our trees are covered with their discarded shells, and the afternoon air is alive with their mechanical whirr. I'm pretty excited about the prospect of a 13-year swarm of cicadas, only because I don't recall ever having experienced it. We'll see how I feel next week when it's been going on for a while...
Thanks for reading! Hope to see you at the Farmers' Market (some time...)
Thursday, May 26, 2011
|The rainy garden.|
Saturday, May 21, 2011
|Covered Peppers & Tomatoes|
The house we rent sits on 40 acres of land. About half of that is leased to another farmer who alternates growing soybeans and corn. I'm assuming he grows genetically-modified seed. Last night and this morning, in about two hours total, he disced and planted both fields with soybeans. I felt decidedly old-fashioned hoeing the ground, watering with my watering can as he drove by with his wide & tall tractor trailing huge equipment to quickly plant his crops. But I take comfort in the fact that I am growing real food. Food I will eat this summer and winter, and food I will happily and proudly sell at the Farmers' Market. I know that his soybeans and corn aren't edible. I don't feel superior, especially standing there, sore, drenched in sweat and covered in gnats & biting flies. Nope. Right now, aside from focusing on trying to get everything in the ground as quickly as possible, I'm keeping my eyes on the beauty of this garden come next month, when the plants are established, and I'm out there watering and mulching and battling insect marauders. And enjoying the flowers and the fruits of all this labor. I must say, though, that working from the lush confines of a tractor looks pretty good. Especially over the past two days, when the gnats and biting flies have come out in droves. I read that a mixture of water and vanilla works at keeping them away. And it does, for about ten minutes. Yesterday was warm and I worked in shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt. And I have bites all over my body to prove it. This morning I worked in pants and a long-sleeved t-shirt, and was able to work without as much bother. I have never seen such aggressive little bugs.
|The garden this afternoon.|
|Me, decked out against gnats.|
Sunday, May 15, 2011
In the rain yesterday, I was able to give a farm tour to some of my non-mud-averse friends. The garden now contains twenty garden plots. Some of the original plots are in desperate need of weeding, but I must say it heartened me to see other people getting excited about the garden, and being able to answer their questions, and even to notice that even more cucumbers, beans, zucchini, and more had sprouted! It's looking more and more like a proper garden every day. Of course, more than half of the garden is dense and green with weeds that I will soon be battling to plant even more.
|The other tomatoes.|
It's just over two weeks until the farmers' market. I still can't believe it, and know I have an awful lot to do to prepare for it, but I must say I'm beginning to believe that I will have things to sell that first week... The radishes, arugula and lettuces are really coming along. After two days of rain, we're due for a cool and pleasant week, so I imagine the peas and most everything else that's up will really grow quickly. If you need me this week, I'll be out in the garden, weeding.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
This is a big week here at Three Persimmons Farm. It was a year ago this Saturday that Rich & I first saw our new home. It was Rich's birthday, and we toured it first with the landlord, then the next day, alone in the rain. And we fell in love with it, obviously. What we both recall from that first visit was how green everything was outside, and the irises and peonies blooming. This morning, the irises greeted us when we got up. Some yellow and some purple. And the chives bloomed this morning, too. And the peony, well, I imagine it'll be blooming by this Saturday's anniversary/birthday party (for Rich). The fields around us are blooming with the yellow flowers pictured just above. They're both beautiful and kind of unsightly (when they occur in the yard). This afternoon, after I'd spent six hours hoeing and tilling and planting about 30 square feet of garden, the farmer who leases the land across the road from us started working his farmland. He drove his huge tractor, spreading what we guess is Round-Up to kill all the pretty weeds so he can plant his genetically-modified soybeans. Even though I was aching this afternoon, I was thinking how glad I am to be growing plants the old-fashioned way. Sure, I may find better ways to water, or till, or plant, or grow...but I won't be resorting to chemicals and ecological unsound practices, or producing a product that I wouldn't eat.
|The irises in one of our herb gardens.|
So right now, I'm feeling mostly excited. A little sore, a little sunburned, and a little like I'm on vacation (mostly being sunburned and having cocoa butter on it...) I'm excited that every day I'm able to get up and go outside and work in the sweet-smelling soil, and in a month or so, be able to offer the fruits of my labor...
|The garden as of this afternoon...|
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
|The dogs know what to do.|
|Deer prints through a garden bed.|
In more positive news, Herb Fest in Mattoon was a blast. Rich & I met our friends, Sherry & Andrea, there. I bought some herbs (chocolate mint, variegated sage, rosemary, salad burnet and purple basil) that I'm not otherwise growing. We also bought a couple of strawberry plants and a few other plants (a 3 foot tall coleus, a rattlesnake master and one more). On Sunday afternoon, before it started to rain again, I was able to dig out three new beds on the west side of our house. In two of them, we're going to scatter some wildflower seed we bought. In the one nearest what will soon be our new patio, I planted a small herb garden. The rosemary, sage, salad burnet and oregano. As well as hollyhock, nasturtium and four o'clock seeds. And parsley, large leaf basil, cilantro, chervil, and borage. I left some room for basil once it warms up more. I'm hoping this will be a pleasant garden to look at, smell and eat from soon.
|Peas & Arugula & Weeds & Mud|
I'm hoping this anxiety about the garden passes quickly. (I bet it will once I can get out and work more regularly in it.) These soggy, sunny days are killing me! I've got a few projects to do this afternoon (build a new trellis for the peas, separate potatoes and get them drying so I can (hopefully) get them in the raised bed tomorrow, find a scale for the Farmers' Market) and hopefully shake this dread feeling that come June 1, I'll have nothing to sell...