Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On the Farm

Here are a few more updates on the farm happenings.

Remember I told you about my favorite brother?  You can read about him here if you missed it.  For quite a while, every time I talked to my brother I was planting beans.  I can not tell you how many beans that I planted, but there were a lot of beans.  To the point that my brother was like,

"What the heck is going on with you?  Every time we talk, all I here about is beans?"

I am not sure if it was rabbits in the beginning or what, but there were minimal beans that came up.  Then when I finally started seeing plants, they weren't growing very fast.  Once they did start growing, the grasshoppers came. 

I really do not like grasshoppers. 

We are being over run by them now.  There are so many different species that it is amazing.  I should spend more time taking pictures of them, but I have been spending a lot of time trying to keep them at bay.  It is a daily battle with grasshoppers and squash bugs. 

Some days they are winning, some days I am winning. 

Anyway, there will be no beans this spring.  I gave up and I have decided that I am not watering beans to feed grasshoppers.  They can have what is left, and I will get the area ready for whatever may be next.  I tried for a lot longer than I should have, but what can I say, I can be a little stubborn.

Not a lot of beans happening there.  There were several different varieties, but I guess the grasshoppers like a little variety in their diet also.

The tomato plants are loaded.  It is so hot, so early, I am not sure how it will go.  The shade cloth is the only thing that will help them. 

These look a little thirsty...

The Pear and Roma are really doing well, and there are also cherry, along with some other heirloom varieties.

The squash and cucumber plants have been doing pretty well also.

Golden Scallopini...

It doesn't look golden here, but they turn a vibrant yellow and are absolutely gorgeous.  I love to watch them grow.  These are a point of interest at Market.

Spaghetti Squash...

We had two spaghetti squash ripen and they were also a hit at Market.  So much so, that they were sold before we even had our booth set up.

Raven Zucchini...

These seeds were a few years old, and I only had three left in the packet.  For some reason, one seed didn't sprout.  The other two have had a constant supply of zucchini.  I love these because they are so dark and rich in color.  The few that I have taken to Market have sold quickly.

We have a few varieties of cucumber.  We have a Sumter, which is a pickling cucumber.  We have Straight Eight, which is your typical cucumber.  We also have a Lemon cucumber, which has been a pain for me to grow.  I have tried and never succeeded.  This is my third go at it, and I said this would be the last one.  I do not have pictures of the Lemon Cucumbers, but I can tell you that I harvested one. 

It was delicious!

It was cute!

It has me hooked!

There really is no lemon flavor to speak of, but it has a very tender, yellow skin and it has a very mild cucumber taste.  It would be perfect in a salad and it would be very pretty.  The heat is taking its toll on these as well, so I am considering a little shade for them.  I noticed that they are growing better on the east side of their trellis, as opposed to the west side that is baking in the afternoon.

I guess this is why we never bake cucumbers, right?

Sumter Cucumber...

These guys are so cute.

We are working on a recipe for Refrigerator Pickles. Nothing to brag about yet, but we will keep trying. Let me know if you have a good one or any tips.

Butternut Squash...

I am worried about these guys. There are so many of them and I probably over crowded them.

It is another bad habit that I have.

Acorn Squash...

This is the first time that I have tried to grow Acorn squash.  I have two that are ready now, and the plants are loaded.  The plants themselves are actually huge.

Mental note...these need more room.

Now that I have shared some success and some failure, I may as well let you in on the fact that the Strawberry plants are toast.  Unlike most of my endeavors, these plants were over-watered. 

I know...hard to believe, right?

They were planted in pots that did not drain and it was ugly.  Definitely some root rot and it all went down hill from there.  I am not giving up on this idea because the Full-timer does love the strawberries, but I have to create a berry patch.  It is the only way I will be successful.

I did make a rash decision a couple of weeks ago. 

I know, shocking!

I decided to start selling at the Denton Community Market.  I had been kicking the idea around for a while, and had even gone down and checked it out one Saturday.  It was more than a little nerve racking the first weekend, but we did it, and it was a huge success.  We met a lot of very interesting people, and hopefully we made a few new friends.  The items that I mentioned above were a success at Market, along with eggs, honey and the potato crop that we had harvested.  I really appreciate every one's support in making our debut a success, and I look forward to the rest of the season. 

I hope the fall season brings an even bigger bounty...in harvests and in friends.

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