Summer Scramble and NEW THINGS!

I prepare every year – and every year I’m still scrambling for everything!

Not enough time for the garden, not enough time for animals, not enough time to relax.  The winter lulls are so wonderful, then January hits and I’m praying for hot days, sunshine, and this crazy garden work!

White Bearded Iris
I planted this white iris last year and didn’t get the chance to enjoy the blooms – this year they are doing fantastic!

In my last post I talked about how I had probably gone through 700 popsicle sticks – no joke!  And I had to get MORE!  I was preparing for our first ever plant sale.

Of course, I meant to do an update but even though I thought things would slow down after the sale they didn’t – they exploded!

Plant sale synopsis:

It turned out great – for me anyway!  The only way to make sure it was fantastic is that everybody else enjoyed their experience and still have the plants!  I’ve heard several succumbed to bunnies, but I have some of my own plants that have since experienced deer.  And my black thumb.

If you would like to see how I set it up, check out the YouTube video – How to Organize a Plant Sale.  You’ll see how we were able to utilize our circular driveway, keep everybody safe with “the bug” going around (as my father-in-law likes to call it!), and all the fun signs I made for each plant!  It helped to reduce the number of questions!

DIY Chalkboard Sign
Be sure to check out the YouTube video of how I made this awesome Chalkboard sign from scrap pieces!

Notes for next year?  More plants!  I’ve already had people interested in things like kale and spinach.  Our rhubarb patch may need to grow beyond our own use – for root stock as well as selling stalks!  The poor 6′ x 9′ window greenhouse may need to be expanded before it explodes!  So if you have any greenhouse materials keep us in mind!  Don’t know if we’ll go with another window greenhouse, a hoop house, or build more of a clear corrugated plastic building.  It all depends on budget and time!

We’ve expanded the garden!

Colton thought we had plenty of garden space.  And then he planted sweet corn.  And i planted squash/zucchini.  And tomatoes.  And peppers.  And needed somewhere to put some herbs.

But I had NO room for the EIGHT different kinds of Indian corn or the broomcorn!  So he was nice enough to till a section down by our creek.  It’s still a work in progress, but it’s a start!  The deer (or bunnies) have invaded and eaten some of the sunflowers I transplanted; they may have even started in on the raspberry bushes (WHY!?!?).  I transplanted several kinds of Indian corn as well, but the broomcorn needs planted and there might even be more room for other things!

Different Kinds of Indian Corn
We planted about 8 different kinds of Indian corn including glass gem, earth tones, mini blue popcorn, blue Hopi, and two colors of pod corn.

Why TRANSPLANT Indian corn?  Well, you see, we have this problem called MOLES.  They like to come and eat the seeds in the garden.  For years Colton has battled them eating his sweet corn seeds.  I also have some Indian corn seed that is a couple years old, so germination may be spotty, so why take up space in the garden if it doesn’t produce?  There are a few kinds that took off like crazy; a few others that aren’t doing as well.

A major thing we have to be careful of with the Indian corn is that it will cross pollinate.  Any of it could cross pollinate with the sweet corn or another kind of Indian corn.  It won’t cross pollinate with the broomcorn, so my original thought was to plant the broomcorn between Indian corn varieties.  My plans changed when I started transplanting sunflowers, but since something has been munching on those I may change my mind again.  There is still a high chance of cross pollinating with the small buffer zone, but we’ll see.  If it turns into a good cash crop for us we can always reassess, reduce the number of varieties, planting dates, etc.

Did you miss our BIG NEWS??

If you aren’t a subscriber to our newsletter you may have missed the news!  We are now a vendor at our local farmer’s market!

We are limited in what we can offer since I wasn’t planting for a market, but the lettuce has been taking off and it’s a good thing I have this avenue to sell it – because I’m not sure the rabbits could even keep up with it!  The initial reason for going was to sell eggs; we have been almost selling out with our current customers, but I would like to expand our customers as well as the flock, and this seems like the perfect opportunity!  It does mean we increased our prices to cover the additional costs associated with licenses and requirements for selling off the farm, but I think (hope!) it will be good for the farm.

Other crops – including the Purple Plum Radishes – have looked amazing!  I think part of it is because I planted before the bugs could take them out, but I’m starting to see some bug damage and need to look into how to help the plants.  We don’t have enough radishes to offer at the market, but they’re on the list for this fall or next year!

Another “crop” I am excited about – herbs!  I planted several kinds this spring and while a lot of them didn’t make it, a few did and I have gradually added others from Red Barn Nursery and the store.  My first goal is to harvest enough for preserving for us (basil and oregano being the biggest two for pasta and pizza sauce).  My basil is looking questionable, but hopefully it will get there!  All the extras we can offer at the market – which has been a blessing again because of the fact that some herbs are needing a haircut!


 

Herbs we may be able to offer:

  • Lavender
  • Sweet Mint
  • Spearmint
  • Peppermint
  • Lemon Balm (another variety of mint!)
  • Chives
  • Russian Taragon
  • French Taragon
  • Anise
  • Chamomile
  • Sage
  • Dill
  • Greek Oregano
  • Italian Oregano

We were also able to take some leftover plants and crafts to the market, so be sure to check us out each week for something new!

This year has been a wild one for sure!  Even though it doesn’t seem to be slowing down we have been exceptionally blessed with all the chaos going on.  This year must be the year of “Growth”.  Growing as a business, growing the garden, growing as people.  Hopefully we continue to grow well!

Don’t forget – subscribe to our email newsletter for the first updates about the farm!

 

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