Tag: carrots

Transplanting is Transformational

The Micro Farm is a “buzz” with activity.

Pollinators are enjoying the black raspberry flowers
Pollinators are enjoying the black raspberry flowers

The strawberry patch is also producing lovely berries this year.  Such a nice crop mean I need to protect the ripe berries from animals nibbling.

The strawberries protected
The strawberries protected

I use a bird netting purchased at a local nursery.  It keeps most of the critters from eating the ripe fruit.

I spent a good deal of the week transplanting seedlings.  One evening while working on the Micro Farm.  I noticed small movements near my neighbor’s shed.  Sure enough two small rabbits.  I knew I needed to do something to protect my tender and young plants.  Fencing is what I needed, but I wanted to avoid the traditional woven metal fence.  A local home store had landscaping timbers on sale, decision made.

New "fencing"
New “fencing”

Hopefully this will keep the rabbits out.  We will have to wait and see.

I transplanted tomatoes, peppers, celery, cabbage, and cauliflower.

Cabbage transplants
Cabbage transplants
Cauliflower transplant
Cauliflower transplant
Tomato transplants
Tomato transplants

I also planted five pounds of seed potatoes, another 75 onion sets, beets, edamame,  popcorn, and carrots.

Growing greens has been a failure so far this season.  So I am tried putting some seed in six-packs to determine the quality of the seed.  The seed produced well.  I In another week I will put them into the ground.

Lettuce seedlings
Lettuce seedlings

As the rain falls tonight.  I am excited to see how the young plants spring to life over the next week.

Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.

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Late Fall Revival

Three hours to the northwest everyone is buried in snow.  We only received about an inch, and that quickly melted away.   I took advantage of warm temperatures and no snow to clean up around the micro farm.  Contemplating this blog post I have struggled to come up with and answer to one key question.  Why has it been six months since I last blogged?  I do not have a good answer.  All I know is I found this past summer a difficult season.  Again, I do not know why.  I had plans to accomplish much more than I did.  The micro farm was left on its own too much.

Regardless, I am moving forward.  I am already anticipating next spring and summer.  This weekend I accomplished a good amount of work at the micro farm.  I pulled the remaining vegetables and cut down dead flower stalks.

The micro farm cleaned up, mostly, for winter
The micro farm cleaned up, mostly, for winter

I decided to leave the marigolds and other border flowers until spring.  Their roots will hold the soil and it will not wash away.

I was able to fill one of my compost bins with plants and stalks so I should have plenty of new compost this spring.

My full compost bin.
My full compost bin.

I was able to get a fairly good harvest today.  Lots of baby carrots, a few beets, a turnip or two, and one rutabaga.

Carrot, beet, and turnip harvest.
Carrot, beet, and turnip harvest.
The rutabaga harvest.
The rutabaga harvest.  It’s really big.  Sorry for not adding to understand the scale.

I was also able to start raspberry cane pruning.  I prune the yellow raspberries to the ground.

Yellow raspberry canes cut down
Yellow raspberry canes cut down

I also started pruning out old “wood” of the red raspberries, but I daylight was going away quickly.  The black raspberries are going to be a big effort to get them under control.  They are very aggressive growers and I have not been able to manage them to my preferences yet.  Maybe next year.

On Friday my friend Dylan and I loaded up three garbage cans of wood chips and brought them to the micro farm.  Our local electric utility offers free chips at one of their stations.  So we were the “crazy” people loading up wood chips in the middle of November.

Recently mulched path on the right.  Old mulch on the left.
Recently mulched path on the right. Old mulch on the left.

I think they look very nice, especially for the price.

The last significant task this weekend was adding pine needles to mulch garlic and other sensitive plants.

The pine needle harvest for this year
The pine needle harvest for this year

I purchased two cranberry plants from a friend this spring and they were give some protection; along with the garlic, blueberries, and strawberries.  I planted several types of garlic this past fall.  I am not sure what varieties will make it, but it will be fun to see in the spring.

A few more jobs before the winter sets in fully.  It will interesting to find out the type of winter we will have.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.  I hope your day is filled with laughter, friendship, and delicious food.

Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.

Micro Farm Picture Tour

The expanded Micro Farm

Typically, I do not struggle to write my weekly post, especially after a week were a great deal was accomplished.  However, today the words are struggling to come.

I planted another round of carrots this week.  I am hoping to plant carrots every two weeks from spring to August.  I hope we can have good carrot harvests well into the fall.

I started parsnips, onion sets, shallots, and a few more rows of radishes.

First radish crop coming up.

There was a great deal of weeding, raking, and rock moving.

I will you give a quick picture tour around the Micro Farm.

The herb garden raked and pruned.
The strawberry patch raked out. It needs some weeding.                    The plants are looking strong.
The garlic has been growing very well.
The chives are doing well. This is their first spring in this planter. I am pleased to see how well they are doing.
Looking ahead at temperatures I decided to put the seedlings in the cold frames. They have been doing well for just two days.

I hope you enjoyed the short tour.  I have enjoyed our beautiful weather more than I realized.  I have been thinking about spring this year.  I suggest, for your discussion, that this have been the most “spring-like” spring we have had in many years.  The weather allows the plants to slowly open up and bloom.  There has not been to much rain, sun, or cold.  There also has not been drastic temperature changes, it has been slowly warming up.  I am enjoying this “traditional” spring. I hope you are too.

Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.

 

Home Grown Popcorn

You may think I am crazy, but I harvested carrots this week.  Crazier still, there are more out in the garden beds. If the temperatures stay this way I do not have to worry about the soil freezing.

My harvest from this past week.

These “ugly-ish” carrots tasted great. Normally I do not have problems with carrot pests. Recently, the tops of a few carrots have been nibbled on.

Carrot with some insect damage.

I walked past my popcorn to many times without cooking some up.  I selected to ears and shucked them.  I was struck by the color of the ears. The kernels were shiny and hard.

Two ears of popcorn

Peeling the kernels off took a bit of time. While separating the kernels I wondered if they were too dry or if they would pop at all.

While in the grocery store I found a Whirley Pop, and I thought that would be the best way to pop my corn. There are other ways to popcorn; a dutch oven, frying pan, and you can even microwave it yourself.

All it took was 1/2 cup of corn,  three tablespoons of olive oil, and a Whirley pop

The Whirley Pop instructions state it should take about three minutes to pop corn.  I found it took a little longer.

Success!

This bowl did not last long, I ruined my lunch – oh well.  Everyone who tried it said the flavor was great.

I ate to the bottom of the bowl with scientific curiosity.  I wondered how many kernels would remain un-popped.

About ten to fifteen kernels left at the bottom.

After a couple bowls of popcorn I was convinced.  Homegrown popcorn has something that store-bought popcorn does not.  I found myself wondering why I would buy this in a store again. If you enjoy popcorn I recommend growing this at home.  I felt more successful growing popcorn than growing sweet corn.  I was able to get many more two ear plants with popcorn.

What enjoyable surprises have you grown?  What crops do you grow that you no longer buy at the store?

Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.