Farm Year 2015 Notes

Today is May 26th and I am going to try to recount the Spring planting as I recall it.

Sean Snider is working the lower acre this year and planting Tomatoes, Okra and peppers in large quantity to supply The Whiskey Jar and Rev Soups.

I finished the Summer planting last week May 18th but had most of it done the previous week May 11th.

March was cold but I got a tilling in and Lisa planted some early Peas, Kale, Beets and lettuce.

The summer heat came on fast. It has not been a even cool Spring, it was very cold into late March and then very hot in April. This has made seeds sprout quite early. The consistent Spring rains stopped the first week of May and has made irrigation a daily chore.

We are using the entire quarter acre on the property Last year we planted half the space to pumpkins and watermelon and it did not go so well.

This year we divided the space into three sections and put short rows down each section from top to bottom.

Starting with the row closest to the pond. At the top which is closest to the drive:

Row 1:
I planted 4 rows of tomatoes at the top. German Johnson, Purple Cherokee, Green Zebra and others. Then 3 rows of Wax Beans for Jose. 2 raised beds of multi colored carrots and then about 5 beds of various types of beets for the whiskey jar. At the bottom there are 2-3 rows of Butternut. The basil and peppers arrived early and I was out of space so I planted them (starts bought at city market from Whisper Hill farm) at the top of each beet row hoping the beets would come and go before the peppers and basil had full maturity.

Row 2:
At the top there is a row of Tomato and one of Basil. Then there is some pickling cucumber by the fence lattice. After that there are about ten rows of Zucchini for the flowers for The Alley Light. This may end up being too much Zucchini. There is 2 rows of yellow squash in there also. Then there are 2 beds of corn in the lower half and then 2 rows of watermelon at the bottom. The bugs have caught on to my Zucchini plants, if left un dealt with they would probably have destroyed the crop. I spent the last 2 weeks spraying a very concentrated mix of Neem Oil on them. I also put diatomaceous earth on a lot of the plants. I did this for the last 2 weeks in a row but have not seen any sign of the squash beetles since so I let off this week. I should probably keep up with the treatment but I hate spraying even if it is organic. Next week I will spray again.

Row 3:
The first 5-6 rows are cherry tomatoes. Then there is a row of about 8 eggplants as Lisa and I loved them last year and I only had 6 plants. Then there is a row of cabbage that Lisa planted early, it is still young. After that there are 2 rows of early planted lettuces that are doing as well as I have ever seem lettuce do here. Lisa planted them and we will most likely harvest all of it in the next 2 weeks. They are Oak leaf and Romaine. I have plated tomatoes next to the lettuce beds expecting them to be gone soon. We just pulled up the snap peas today, they were lovely, we will do more of them earlier next year. Then there is another fence trellis planted with cucumber. Then there are 7 rows of potato of different types. Then 2 rows of Chard, 2 of Collard and 2 of Pumpkin at the bottom.

I have had to fill in seed in both the beet and chard rows today as they came up patchy. I tried to transplant some of the 2 week old Wax Bean sprouts and they look a little rough, we’ll see.

Thoughts for next year:
Start everything earlier if possible to avoid having to hand irrigate, plant with the Spring rains etc... Try English peas in the black soil on the raised beds March 1st. Redo the strawberry beds and mulch the asparagus in winter.

Zucchini and Yellow Squash really started taking off the week of June 14th

It is June 26th now and we have had our first Red tomato this week and a handful of cherry tomatoes.

Chard is being harvested for last 2 weeks.

Beets are slowly getting to the right size, we have harvested the first batch mostly but the large planting of second batch is almost ready, just larger than a gulf ball, I like tennis ball size.

Eggplant is going slow

We have had a cucumber and some banana peppers.

Pumpkins are looking good, watermelon is going slow.

It has been a rainy June with lots of flooding downpours and micro bust storms, nothing has hit us yet. The rains have been short but with a large volume.

July 3rd. It has been raining a lot the last couple weeks, the Zucchini may have been too far damaged in the heavy rains the week before last and might be done. The weeds have not gotten too bad but I will need to get in the garden with the tiller soon and may replant zucchini for an August harvest.

The pumpkin has gone crazy. Excellent crop!

End of the Season: It was a pretty good year for tomatoes. Very ripe and lots of flavor and quantity. Not perfect but good.

Our watermelon never fully ripened well.

Out butternuts and pumpkins did excellently.

Revolutionary Soup