Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Updates Cont.

I haven't forgotten about you.  This is an insane week, and so far my way of handling it has been denial.  I am pretending like I have all the time in the world, like it will really be cooler outside later, and like I will somehow acquire Super Human powers that will enable me to jump mighty tasks in a single bound.  It really is not the correct way to go about things, but it is the path that I have chosen, and that's my story and I am sticking to it. 

I made a list two days ago, I have only crossed two things off of this list.


I am already fed up with the heat today and I have decided to drink some coffee and catch up with you a little.  You know, because it will be cooler outside later and I can get back out there and do those chores sometime around Noon, in the Cool of the Day.  The coffee part may be throwing some of you, but hot or cold, I have to have it.  It is part of the fuel that keeps me going.  I have been known to take a hot, steaming cup of coffee, and dump it over a tall glass of ice.  This cools it off considerably and then allows you to slam it down in record time.  I save this technique for times when I really need a jolt to make me move.

Back to the updates:

This will only make sense to three of you, but...

"Michigan, we have a problem."

I had a couple of visitors out to the farm this spring and when they got here, things were still pretty small.  I had a section of Tomato plants planted, and these little plants were only about a foot tall.  They were being abused daily by the wind.  I can not tell you the times that they were laid over in one direction or another.  I had never bothered staking or caging them because I really didn't believe they would make it.

Well, guess what?

I could not get cages on them when I tried.  I was able to do two, but I was breaking them in the process.  In this shot you can see that I switched to staking them, and it has worked out okay.  I will tell you that I shot these several weeks ago, and they are truly out of control now.  I now have a solid hedge that is as tall as these stakes, and I do not know where we will go from here.  I am in the process of trying to untangle them from the last storms that we had, and then I am going to attempt to use some shade cloth to extend their growing season.  I say attempt because the winds are still brutal.  My shade cloth may end up in Oklahoma.  So, for all of those living north of me, if you see it going by, could you grab it and give me a call?

We had another lesson this spring.  Learning things for me is not always an enjoyable experience, but I have to say I enjoyed this one.  This spring we planted potatoes.  I have never grown them before.  I never wanted to grow them.  I always thought that you could buy them for less than the ground involved and the work involved.  The latter may be true, but I have changed my mind, and I will grow them again.

We planted small varieties.  I felt like the soil we have would be better suited for the smaller varieties, and it did pretty well.  I did make the same mistake that I made with the blueberry plant - Simple Lessons.  I could have watered them more, but I was afraid to.  We got our spring rains late, and for some reason I had it in my head that it would be more likely that I would over-water, and they would rot in the ground. 

I have a serious problem with this concept.

Could someone take it upon themselves to remind me that we live in a drought-prone State?

We started out a little small,

But we finished much better than I expected.

French Fingerling - They taste really good.  They have a yellow, creamy flesh, but they were not outstanding producers.  We missed our minimum yield by about 15lbs.  I am undecided on this variety.  I could probably give them a better chance with the knowledge that I have acquired, but I don't know if I can make up that much ground.

Colorado Rose and All Blue -  These both did really well.  They were a mix of Red, White, & Blue.  The White was supposed to be the Yellow Finn, but I didn't see any white.  I know I planted them, but I do not know what happened to them.  I did not harvest them.  The reds did really well, and the blue were fun to harvest.  I thought they taste pretty good, but the Man in Charge and my Full-timer were not convinced.  We did make Blue Potato Chips during the Maverick's Championship Series, and they won that night.  Not saying that we had anything to do with it, but it didn't hurt.  We missed our minimums on these varieties by 10lbs or so.  I will give these guys another try.

Russian Banana Fingerling - I planted these thinking that the Russians know a thing or two about potatoes.  I was right about that.  They grew like crazy, and our harvest would have been heavier if I had watered more.  We ended up with a lot of under-sized spuds, but the facts are - they were there.  We missed our minimum on these by about 15lbs, but I will plant these again also.

The Aggie's at Texas A&M tell me that I can give spuds another go in the fall.  We will see if we can make that happen. 

There is so much more to share, but I better get back outside.  I can feel it getting cooler already.

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