Friday, April 24, 2015

Rainy day

Good morning from the mountain, it is a rainy day today, which for all general concerns is a good thing.  Our gardens are in great need of water.  I am sorry that I have not been following up with all of you; I have been very busy just keeping up with my school work and the farm.

So far, I have managed to get the first three gardens in.  In the first outermost garden, we have peas, soloist Chinese cabbage, red romaine, yellow bell peppers, cayenne peppers, celery, corn, and zucchini.  The other garden is planted with cucumbers and a red tomatoes variety. The third garden has beets, leeks and other root vegetables planted.  Still need to finish planting it; I have more beets to go in and more carrots, and I think I am planting the Envy soybeans out there as well. Still trying to figure out how to where to put all the plants that I have started. 
Yesterday I started clearing garden number four, which I had planted with rye to give it ground cover.  I was out a little longer than I needed to be and am now the recipient of a nasty little sunburn.  However, I managed to get a good size section done and will continue working on it once the rain passes.  I am planting the red and green noodle beans in this garden.  I think I will plant the blue tomatoes out there as well, some purple carrots, a mix of radishes and some painted lady runner beans. 
Then I have to get back to work in the other garden which is closer to the house, the strawberries will be ready in a few days and I have been harvesting asparagus for a few weeks already.  I also have Jerusalem artichokes in this garden, and Egyptian onions.  Mostly I clear unwanted grass from it and leave alone, and add a few long lasting plants to go with it.  This year I think I will add a blueberry bush, seems like a safe place for it.  I will plant a few tomatoes plants out there as well.  Mostly the cherry tomatoes and the current tomatoes, this year we are planting chocolate cherry tomatoes, blueberry tomatoes, more carrots, red ones I think.
I will soon be ready to plant the corn in three sisters tradition, with our prize winning pumpkins and our CWY trail of tear beans in one section and the other side with crowed peas.  Last year this worked very well for us and we see no reason not to follow the traditions of our ancestors.  I still of course need to get the melons and watermelons, okra and other peppers, and more potatoes plants in too…          
            We have onions and garlic planted everywhere…Our fruit trees are loaded with fruit, peaches, pears and apples, autumn olives and the berry bushes are looking great.   Our grapes still of course need to still go into the ground, we need to put an arbor up for them fist.  The one I replanted two years ago is looking like it made it through the long winter so I feel we should be able to get them to grow with a little work. 
I know it sounds like a lot of work, but I promise it is worth it…raising your own food is one of the most amazing things you could ever do.  You know where your food comes from, whose hands have touched it and you know that it is free of pesticides and other harmful elements.  No GMOs foods are grown here!

Our soil is our most important feature of our farm, rich and black from years of animal byproducts, powdered kelp, mineral salts, and the help of worms and nematodes has been incredibly productive for us.  Just ten short years ago the soil here was lifeless; we brought in worms and introduced many new creatures to the soil in these past ten years.  Now you can reach down and scoop up worms by the handfuls, plants grown and thrive and even our wild plants seem happy and full of life.

Now to our wild food:  No mushrooms of any amount yet this season.  We have harvested and cooked dandelion greens, which I brought up from my home in Florida, and I hope to make fritter soon. We have harvested some of our curly dock, another yummy wild green; it also gives us a wild form of buckwheat that I use to bake bread. Yesterday I saw the goose-foot which is wild spinach forming in little groups here and there.  Our daylilies look great too, I always forget about them and our roses.

I am also happy to announce that this year all the herbs made it…I cannot tell you how happy that makes me.  My sage is flowering; my rosemary, mint, lemon balm, and oregano all look fantastic.  This year we are adding lemon grass, catnip, and a few other herbs to the fields and pastures, you can never have too many herbs.

Now to the animals we opted last season to temporarily removed cows from the farm until we can find a young healthy cow of a size that I can handle on my own.  Cows are a great deal of work and far too much for me to deal with at this time.  I have one retired milk goat left, one Jacob sheep, a few mini horses, a mini donkey, and my horse.  Aside from these we have our geese, ducks, chickens, pigeons, and the mini pigs and they all keep us very busy.  Our cow spotted mice, our snake, and two baby snapping turtles.  Add in the dogs and cats and it starts to seem like a zoo.

We have been selling hatching eggs which gives us enough money to feed them all, but scarcely more.  This has been a good week for us though, and we have been able to help other small farms start their first flocks.   This year we are selling goose eggs, duck and chicken, every now and then pigeon eggs.

I need to get back to work so I will have to go for now dear ones.  I do want to leave you with this:  You may not be able to return the world to a garden, but you can plant a seed!
Be Blessed
Shekhinah and all the kids and critters on Mahanaim Farm