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Garden Tour Sort of

April 22, 2015

I was warned that this would happen…the long-hand blogging would come to a screeching halt once I started posting photos to Instagram.  Yes, I’m still here, and if you check here in the sidebar you can see pretty much how a day unfolds around here.  We’re all over the place, literally, and with two people posting to Instagram you get a little better perspective of the farmstead, I believe.  So without further ado, a quick garden tour this fine April day.

Main garden

Main garden

We’ve got two gardens and two greenhouses and both get different treatment as far as planting, irrigation, and general fussing.

The main garden above gets crops that need or benefit from irrigation.  I also plant seed crops here.  That’s leeks on the left just heeled in after tilling, we hope to eat them, but maybe not.  On the right are selected leeks and parsnips for seed.  Yesterday I got the cover crops that had been mowed, tilled in.  Not much will get planted here until mid to late May except dahlias, which I might plant tonight if I get off the computer.

greenhouse 1

greenhouse 1

Directly adjacent to the main garden is greenhouse 1, a lot happens in here, it acts as a prop house, and our first garden of the season.  Growing in here besides a ton of transplants for sale and for us are: potatoes, carrots, beets, peas, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, bok choy, arugula, lettuce, daikon, black radish, salad turnips, cilantro, basil, and some miscellaneous greens.

Tokyo Bekana and buckwheat

Tokyo Bekana and buckwheat

greenhouse 1

greenhouse 1

Just a different view from the other end.  Once the transplants are gone, all the barrels and makeshift tables will come out freeing up more space for more successions of quick crops.  This greenhouse is way more intensive, plantings are biointensive and watered daily in John Jeavons style.  There is something about watering plants in a greenhouse by hand that I can’t describe, it’s almost like you can see them grow.  I wouldn’t recommend it on a large-scale though, but we eat a couple of meals a day from this greenhouse, it just feels right to spend a little time in there tending.

greenhouse 2

greenhouse 2

Next to greenhouse 1 is, you guessed it, greenhouse 2.  We’re funny like that, our trucks have simple names too, Green, Red, BRT, Weenie, etc.  Greenhouse 2 is a little more hands off, drip irrigation, plastic mulch and crops that don’t need as much attention as lettuce and greens.  The tomatoes are planted already, and I’m threatening to plant the peppers next week when the freezing level goes back up.  Rounding out this greenhouse will be melons, a few cukes, and some moschata squash (squee).  A girl has to try right?

dryland Staple garden

dryland Staple garden

East of the greenhouses is the dryland Staple garden, big plantings of potatoes, winter squash, dry beans, Jane’s root crops, naked seed pumpkins and corn go here.  We rarely irrigate these crops, just weed and harvest basically at the end of the season. As of yesterday, all the amendments and cover crops have been worked in and now we’re just waiting for the cover crops to decompose and the weather to moderate a bit before planting.

Jane's excellent mowing job.

Jane’s excellent mowing job.

And the last shot of the staple garden shows Jane’s great “mowing” job on the headland and my tilling…not too bad for a couple of girls.

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28 Comments leave one →
  1. deb permalink
    April 22, 2015 7:15 pm

    It continues to amaze me how green everything is already! But i see light at the end of the winter tunnel. Almost all the snow is gone. We just have to wait for the mud to abate. We are considering how best to construct a greenhouse. (Much smaller scale than What you have) Hoophouses are so economical. How often do you replace the plastic on yours?

  2. April 23, 2015 6:08 am

    Looks so wonderful. Wondering do you rotate crops between areas or are you able to rotate location within the same area? Or is your soil do dang healthy it’s not an issue?

    • April 23, 2015 6:45 am

      Thanks! I do rotate, due to shade, temperature and deer pressure issues though each greenhouse and garden has their own rotation if that makes any sense.

  3. Newbie Homesteader permalink
    April 23, 2015 7:50 am

    Than you for posting all of these things – I’m a newbie homesteader and have so much to learn!

  4. April 23, 2015 8:36 am

    I SEE WEEDS!!!! lol. Tomatoes already in the unheated green house? We just got past our last frost date, I figured yours was close to ours… Much happiness from our farm that you are on instagram, although I do like the info and discussion here on your blog. When you talk about John Jeavons watering, what do you mean?

    • April 23, 2015 8:55 am

      Lots and lots of weeds!! Yeah I had to gamble, it’s pretty nice in there really, and the mulch helps. I am waiting on the peppers though, they are too sensitive. John Jeavons does the Bio-intensive method, double-dug beds, close spacing and light daily watering. I don’t double dig but the close spacing works great for greens production, and we eat a lot of greens each day. Plus I am a plant nerd, I need to plant 5 different kales to see which I like best and because they are so beautiful 😉 So we’re eating off 48 kale plants right now, a leaf a day from each plant doesn’t slow down the growth and I can crowd them because I am going to pick them hard. Same with the bok choy, as long as I’m picking only leaves I don’t need so much space like I would if I wanted to only harvest the head. The plants are close so a light watering is sufficient even in the greenhouse. All our starts are in there too so those flats need daily or twice daily attention so the hand watering on that scale is not a problem.

  5. bunkie permalink
    April 23, 2015 8:55 am

    Looking good moh! I’m curious about the Tokyo Bekana and buckwheat plantings in greenhouse1. What are you using the buckwheat for…grains, greens, cover crop?

    • April 23, 2015 9:00 am

      Well, um I had “planned” to cover crop one half of the greenhouse…so I planted the buckwheat, but it was too cold, I used some old seed and there was spotty germination, then I way over-planted some things and the buckwheat wasn’t doing much so I weeded out what was there and planted other things. Well, we got some high 70 degree days and bam I now have a fair to middling stand of buckwheat. So I’m weeding it when its a problem and mostly just letting it do it thing. So far the unplanned symbiosis is working…

  6. April 23, 2015 10:01 am

    Thanks for the tour – I love to see how real farmers are doing it!
    How do you manage slug damage with your lettuces and other greens?

    • April 23, 2015 11:34 am

      You’re welcome. Dry paths work the best, and no succulent plants that slugs love in the edge rows. The gardens are the same. I just realized these photos may give you some perspective of how we had to keep everything close and in zone one because of deer pressure, and maybe explain my fencing comment a little better.

      • April 23, 2015 1:27 pm

        Aaahh – so lettuces/tenders in the middle with tougher plants on the edges – brilliant and yet so simple. I seem to have more “Doh” moments than “Aha” moments…
        Most of our veg and berries will be in Zone 1 in a similar fashion – it’s just the way we are putting in swales on contour to manage water on our hilled property and then planting the berms to fruit and nut trees in Zones 2 and 3 that is the problem for us with deer – everything is scattered about and not easy or cheap to fence. We did end up caging a bunch of the trees the last 2 weekends and are using other methods to [hopefully] repel them from the more difficult ones to cage in the interim until we get our [future] livestock rotation plan mapped out so we choose a compatible fencing option…
        Planning is a pain, but hoping it will be worth all of the headaches in the long run. Advice from you is invaluable to us and we appreciate it immensely – you are a great role model!

        • April 23, 2015 1:51 pm

          It works the same way in the garden, the far garden gets things the deer don’t eat or are easy to cover…because sometimes the doggies are sleeping on the job 😦 At age 6 they seem to just not care anymore, so we have a 13, 7 and 1 year old deer chasers. It works until it doesn’t work, it took raspberries being eaten right next to the house to figure out that math. Deer, slugs pretty much the same…only I can’t stomp on the deer and they do a serve a purpose by feeding the cougars who also like beef 😦

          Planning is necessary but sure not fun while you’re doing it. Thank you for your kind words.

  7. April 23, 2015 1:01 pm

    We’ve had a beautiful April here in the UK – non stop spring sunshine. Such lovely photos.

  8. April 24, 2015 9:20 am

    Oh I am in Awe! Marvelous!

  9. Claudia W. permalink
    April 24, 2015 3:58 pm

    I’m going to have to follow you closer…I just moved to Washington state and I do know that our weather patterns are different, our goals are the same. (but you have a big head start on me, this is my first time with land on my hands!!!)
    I’m raising some milk goats instead of a cow, I have chickens, tomorrow goslings, but I need to get my behind in gear to raise our veges and herbs. Times a wasting!

    • April 24, 2015 8:41 pm

      Claudia, if you’re on the west side your weather patterns should be pretty close to ours, I’m almost in Washington…

      Spring is here!

  10. April 25, 2015 6:58 am

    Hello! I have been searching for your instagram page but cant find you! I enjoy Instagram. Could you share a link to you, or your “handle”? Thanks!

  11. CassieOz permalink
    April 30, 2015 3:22 pm

    I am, as always, in awe of your organisation and bottomless energy. I’m living vicariously through your garden at the moment, as mine is such a sad mess. Never mind, hip fix booked for 12th so I’ll be back on track come the end of our winter.

    • April 30, 2015 7:46 pm

      Yeah for the hip fix! That’ll give you some to time to heal up real good and hit the ground running next planting season. That is good news!!

  12. Bev permalink
    May 5, 2015 3:56 pm

    Really missing your posts. It’s been14 days for me. Click on your instagram pic and get nothing. Also do not see anything on the sidebar saying Centuryfarmer. I am really bummed!

    • May 6, 2015 5:09 am

      Bev, so sorry, we’ve been so busy…there just aren’t enough hours in the day 😦 I’m puzzled why the link won’t work for you, it’s there. Not much new, making firewood, planting a little garden, milking, grazing. Same stuff, different day. Maybe someone else will pipe up about why that link isn’t working for you.

  13. May 10, 2015 7:32 am

    Hello, have really missed your daily or so blogs. I am bringing home my first milk cow, a beautiful Brown Swiss and her first calf this week! I have surely counted on your vast knowledge and experience for help in how to care for our critters, but unfortunately i do not use all the social media that you are now posting to. i do not twitter, instagram, or go on facebook. I have had much joy from reading and learning from your posts each day. So i am afraid that i will not be able to have the joy of following your adventures on this fantastic blog. i will truly miss you and your Jane and your farm. I hope that i will see new postings from time to time. Many Blessings to you and your family. Becky from Milagro Farm…a small struggling, yet sweet homestead in Dodge, North Dakota.

    • May 10, 2015 1:33 pm

      Congrats on your new cow! I hope to start posting again, but you don’t have to sign up for Instagram to see the photos, you can just view it on your computer, no phone needed.

  14. May 10, 2015 7:53 pm

    Boo Instagram! I miss your posts here! I have learned so much from your blog, please continue to post here.

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