Today I started pulling the sweet potato vines – the earliest ones have leaves that are turning yellow, and the nights are getting cooler, which means it’s time. We probably should have started digging them a couple of weeks ago, working from the earliest vines and moving toward the newer vines, which have taken over . . . → Read More: Pulling the vines
Progress: three blocks cleared of asparagus and replanted in the new long row. There are two more 4x4s that need to be cleared – one is full of plants, the other sparsely populated, but between the two of them, they’ll likely fill a lot more of this row. The other asparagus bed, to the right . . . → Read More: Progress on the asparagus front
Every season, there is some kind of disappointment at the ranch. Sometimes, it is the entire season, like 2010, lost to cancer and surgery. Other times, it is low output, like 2012. This year, it was the tomatoes being flattened, although we still had a fairly good harvest, all things considered. This year’s major disappointment, . . . → Read More: Disappointing!
It seems like they are odd bedfellows, weeding and meditating. They aren’t really, and it’s just the sort of mindless chore that lends itself well to allowing your mind to drift, to let it seek out whatever might be puzzling you. In my case, a couple of plot points and if the sequence of events . . . → Read More: Weeding and meditation
Cover crops? In frames, you say? Yes. Cover crops have been used for eons, to keep the soil friable for the next planting, to prevent soil erosion, to add organic material back into the soil, to act as a natural mulch, and as weed suppression – for no-till farmers, an essential part of maintaining and . . . → Read More: Covering up
Who says gardening isn’t dangerous? In today’s episode, your intrepid farmer is on weed-pulling duties. While attempting to get a particularly large-based, firmly rooted stand of grass pulled, I was pulling back with both hand and all my weight (although, as my brother says, “all my weight” means something entirely different for me than for . . . → Read More: Gardening: dangerous business
First thing this morning after the fog lifted, I headed out to the bees to check them and take some frames. In two of the new hives, I found the queen pretty quickly, and they are motoring along just fine. In the third new hive, there were a LOT of bees. And they were not . . . → Read More: Project weekend at the ranch
You make salsa!
You also make spaghetti sauce – or your mom does – and package that up in individual serving sizes for the freezer. Your next step, should you choose to take it, is to use the paste tomatoes you’ve harvested to try to replicate the pizza sauce that everyone loves for . . . → Read More: When life gives you tomatoes
Marathon pickling session: complete.
I got 36 pints of dills done today from this batch of cukes. I do believe it’s almost time to call an end to cuke season. I’ll move on to the next kitchen season: salsa, sauce, curing peanuts, and harvesting and processing the sorghum, assuming the press arrives at . . . → Read More: Pickling factory
There comes a point when you’re picking yet another huge batch of squash or beans or cukes that you realize how tedious it is to weigh on a basic kitchen scale, in bowls. Given how crazily everything is growing here, courtesy of the great soil we brought in, it became more evident than ever that . . . → Read More: Weighty things