Sunday, July 20, 2014

Work for weeks and then the harvest begins

I made one of many walks through the garden, my heart was filled with joy and my back began to ache.  The garlic is ready to dig, string beans have a few ready to pick, tomatoes need to be tied up and there is always vegetation which needs to be pulled.  The cucumbers, melons and climbing squash are waiting for me to start training the runners.  The climbing spinach is still finding its way to the arbors.  The pole beans are climbing higher and higher, maybe this year will be the one we will have a tall, really tall bean plant.

Along with all of this, I am starting more seeds for the late garden.   Planting potatoes for a later harvest and walking onion sets are being planted as soon as I find them.  The voles have really made their homes under my onion beds, which accounted for my not having a harvest this year.

All of the above was one week ago.  Now the garlic is clean and in a basket, picking a few tomatoes. pinching the pole beans as soon as they reach the top of the wires and daily bringing in green beans from the bush bean plants.  Never fear there are others who enjoy the garden as much as I do.  My peanut plants have been pruned. the cabbage and broccoli plants in one bed became a late night snack for someone.

The potatoes are coming up really good and I almost feel like a farmer.  The tomatoes are coming out of the cages, showing a promise of a good harvest.  I am picking peppers and watching the blackberries.  The wild ones are red and the thornless ones are growing.  I love sneaking into the garden and finding a handful of raspberries ready to eat.  The child comes out in me and I want to find more.  I am thinking there will be okra this year as the plants are looking strong and have been mulched with goat jelly beans.  Once again I am going to try corn.  The early corn came up very sadly.  My soil is still hard pan in a lot of areas.  I keep working on the soil but my garden is about 1/3rd of an acre, that is a lot of soil to add richness to; however, the goats are busy and so are the ladies.

A couple of weeks have passed and now the harvest is good, Green beans aka snaps are coming in by the small basket, the canning has begun.  Mr. Bootsie has taken his position in front of the canner to watch the pressure gauge and set the timer.  He has canned one canner of string beans and this was his second canning.  This is supper on a cold winter's night.  We will add a little bacon or ham when the beans are being properly prepared.  This jar will fill 2 of my soup
bowls, which we call Grandma's soup bowl as they are Mr. Bootsie's delightful grandmother's bowls.  

The black snakes are out again because the egg count has been going down.  I found a nest of yellow jackets while digging compost and one of the young roosters has attacked me.  With all of my wounds I am starting to look as if I have been in the battles of Triple Creek Farm and I may have lost this round.  One morning this week I
looked out of the window and right outside not 50 feet from the door was this handsome critter.  A deer grazing in the meadow. The hawks are working the trees right outside our back door, they are swooping down to the ground and catching something.  I am not sure if there is a nest of little hawks up in the tree or the nest may be over in the pines just a little further away.

This year I have planted more garden than we have ever had.  I am learning what to plant during the summer months, I am not sure I will get much of a harvest, but as the seeds come forth from the ground I am adding a good mulch of manure.  I am saving the last bed to plant with fall greens, I would love to have a good crop of greens, this bed is so weak and needs so much work I am not sure it will be a good choice for me.  I do have to start getting this ground ready and putting a crop in that I would love to harvest, seems to be a move in the right direction.   Speaking of crops, I think I have bragging rights with this Brandywine tomato.  When something like this comes from your garden it brings the gardener a lot of satisfaction!!!

Things seem to be good on the farm, some new land is being cleaned and firewood is being racked for the winter.  The goats are helping with the clearing of the new land as the ducks and chickens wait for the afternoons to go into the area and find treasurers under the leaves.  We seem to have a good system on our little farm, everyone takes a part of the responsibility and the job benefits all of us,  For an example... The firewood will heat our house this winter and the ashes will be returned to the coop runs for the girls to take dust baths in and they will finally mix the ashes into the compost which will return to the garden and produce vegetables for us to enjoy. The vegetable vines and scraps will return to the pasture and coop runs for our goats and chickens.  I grew up in the circle of life and I am so pleased on our farm I continue to practice the same type of farming my parents did when I was a child. This system works and there is no waste. For everything there is a purpose and I do believe this is the way a farm should work.

I need to get some tomatoes ready to dry in the dehydrator.  We are planning on doing one more canning of green beans, this time we will be doing pint jars.  I will be busy filling the pantry, but I will be back with more life on the farm. so until we meet again.

Just a quick update.  Sunday afternoon, July 20, a  neighbor's dog was barking and all at once there were lots of voices.  A car comes down our drive, the driver says. "BEAR HEADING YOUR WAY, just went into those woods right there."  As I say, there is never a dull moment on the farm.  Now I can add bear watching to my list.     Have a good one!!!!