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What’s Growing This Week

April 13, 2015

Cooler weather (read normal) has sure caused my gardening efforts to grind to a halt.  Outside the garlic is doing great, but we’ve had enough rainy days to delay any planting or thoughts of planting any crops outside.

Inside the greenhouse though it’s an entirely different story.  I’ve backed off a bit on my weekly seeding schedule because the coolness has slowed the growth and I’m running out of room for flats of starts.  But things are progressing nicely.


More tomatoes.

Peppers of all kinds.


Herbs, onions and leeks.

More lettuce and brassicas.


Bok choy – first succession.

Bok choy – second succession.

Bok choy- third succession.  We do eat a lot of bok choy…and it grows fast and furious.  Mustards are funny like that.

Snap peas.


Carrots with a volunteer calendula friend.

Transplanted daikon and salad turnips sharing row cover.

Direct seeded daikon, black radish and salad turnips sharing the same bed as the transplants.  Direct seeding at the same time I transplant older plants saves lots of labor and gives me a good succession time frame.


Kohlrabi successions one and two transplanted at first true leaf stage.

Kales and cabbages for days.


Last but not least, the first succession of cilantro.  This isn’t everything, but it’s everything I have a photo of this week.  I’m getting the feeling that I will gamble and plant my tomatoes this week in the greenhouse.  Of course, that will be after I get the cows transitioned back to grazing.



April 9, 2015
Baby's first hay season.

Baby’s first hay season.

The beginning of my gray hair!!

Behind the Eight Ball

April 7, 2015
Brooder maintenance

Brooder maintenance

Project lists have a way of changing fast on the farm.  On my dream list, we will be able to get the greenhouses in shape for planting out.  Right now that means getting the grass away from the edges on the inside that seems to creep in when you’re not looking, or actually it happens when you’re not paying attention.  I need to get all this done before the cows go out for the grazing season, once that happens it’s heads down for me and the cows.  So enter a quick little windstorm a couple a weeks ago that pretty much had its way with the little chicken greenhouse/brooders.  Okay, the list got changed.  Build a new door for one, and put on a new cover on the other, those two things moved to the top of the queue.

Soil builds up pretty fast actually, so besides digging away the grass inside the vegetable greenhouse sidewalls, the grass outside the chicken greenhouses now needs to be dug up and disposed of too, just so we can get to the springlock and channel to replace the plastic.

Hen pecked compost

Hen pecked compost

I worked out a trade with the hens, for a treat I’ll bring you a wheelbarrow of yummy grass clumps with all kinds of good things, and in exchange I’ll dig down and take a load of henpecked compost for amending soil somewhere else.  Deal?

Barn lion in with the chickens

Barn lion in with the chickens

So it goes, the list never gets shorter, it just changes, new things get added, we re-sort the list and peck away.



A happy Easter

April 4, 2015
Vintage postcard

from the farm archives, pre-1920 Latourell Falls, Oregon


April 2, 2015
Lucy, Jed, Randy and Mongo the mechanic - 1983ish

Lucy, Jed, Randy and Mongo the mechanic – 1983ish

Geez, haven’t seen duck Carhartts around here in years.  Or these wonderful puppies, who all lived to be seventeen.  That’s a lot of farm dogging!  The mechanic isn’t too bad either ;)

Balancing Act

March 31, 2015
March 29, 2015

March 29, 2015

As much as I would love to turn Jane out to graze at will 24/7, the early spring grass just doesn’t have enough nutrition to sustain her and her milk production.  Besides the obvious short grass that tells me, Jane tells me she wants some long-stemmed fiber by coming down from the pasture and waiting at the gate at evening chore time.

So for now, Jane has free-choice pasture by day, and I put her in at night and give her free-choice grass hay.

Goodnight Jane, see you in the morning.

In a Jam

March 29, 2015

Caution: remove pits before eating this jam!

Confessions of a preserver…I have too much jam.  And being a frugal preserver, I loathe letting all that hard work go to waste.  I could turn some of it into bacon since I have piglets coming soon, but frankly I would rather eat it.  So the jars of apricot and kiwi jam sit in the cabinet, I look at them, and close the door.  It’s been a couple of years.  I need to move that jam one way or another.  I doubt I will go back to baking much bread, so the next worst thing?  I’ll make dessert out of the jam.  I’m not offering a healthy alternative, just a way to use things up with a solemn promise to myself to quash my jam making tendencies.  Or at least not go overboard.  I had some tasty Greenwillow oatmeal too so I pulled my trusty Apricot Bar recipe out of my go-to recipe folder.  I could eat these everyday and they taste great with any kind of jam.  But as much as I wish I could eat these everyday…we don’t.  So if you have any unused jam of any kind sitting around, these bars taste equally good with any kind of jam.  And you know, it’s almost jam making season… .

Apricot Bars

1 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup brown sugar
1 ½ cups oatmeal
¾ cup butter
1 cup apricot jam
¾ cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts

Mix flour, baking powder, brown sugar and oatmeal together; cut in butter until crumbly.  Put two-thirds of the crumb mixture into 13 x 9 ½ x 2 inch pan.  Pat down evenly.  Spread jam and cover with remaining crumb mixture.  Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts on top.  Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes.  Cool completely and cut into squares.



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