Friday, June 06, 2008

Plantathon

You've heard of people running marathons, well it feels like we're doing a plantathon. I suppose though, for people who are used to doing even moderately sized farming our efforts are but a pittance. But, for us this is the most we've ever tried to accomplish all at once as far as crops go. It's all hand work since we are planting in raised beds and such. We're just trying to get enough of each thing planted. It will be an ongoing endeavour as we are also doing succession planting.

So far the green house is mostly planted. Lots of tomato and pepper plants. Some herbs. A few onions. Zucchini, yellow squash, egg plant,watermelon and celery. Seed plantings of green beans, carrots, radish, beets, leeks, lettuce, and more tomatoes. Not everything is warm loving however, because we're also trying to do companion planting from a book Kelli got called Carrots Love Tomatoes. There's more planted in there but so as not to bore you with all the details I won't make a complete list here.

We are ever grateful of all the helping hands people have contributed to the cause so far. The Heise clan has been instrumental. Friends from Illinois, Dawn, Dusty and Jessie were here for a short vacation and helped tons too. Thanks you guys! Thanks to everyone!

Today Kelli and I and the kids planted a 4' x 18' bed of beets outside. We put nine seeds per square foot. That's 648 beet seeds that went in there. Before that I planted two 4' x 18' beds of carrots at 16 seeds per square foot for 1152 seeds in each bed. If they all grow that will be 2304 carrots in just the two beds. That sounds like a whole lot but, last year we put in a bed that measures about 5' x 22' or 24', ( can't remember exactly) of carrots ( not by the square foot) and went through all of them between what we ate and the farmstand. Plus at the end of the season a couple different fellows bought bag fulls of them after we got all we needed for the freezer. So I'm pretty sure we're going to need alot more carrots. People loved them.

Several weeks ago we got around 600 onion bulbs planted. Looks like it won't be long and they'll be ready to eat. Actually we could be eating them now but we want to be sure to have enough for all the customers.

Been trying to keep weight on the ewes. I ran out of good hay before the pastures started greening and I got some horse hay which they lost weight on. Then when we did get them out on pasture it was too quick and they got diarrhea. By that point when I realized they were getting thin I had started giving them grain too, so I wasn't entirely sure if it was the rich grass or the grain that was making them loose, since they hadn't had any grain before that. So I withdrew grain feeding. They quickly ate down their main paddock and they got over the diarrhea so I brought them up close to fatten them up and to clean up around the buildings. Which made them loose again. After about a week their weight is stabilized and the runs have pretty much subsided.

We are finding that lactating ewes sure let you know when they want something. When they clean up an area of stuff they like they nag us relentlessly until we move them to a better spot. We only have the three, a whole herd would be deafening. I think I now kind of have a glimpse, if even a small one, of what it's like around Scepaniak's farm during weaning time with all that bellering. They're pretty good at harmonizing to bad it's not more harmonious.

Making more beds and planting will continue for, I don't know how long. Until it looks like we'll have enough for everyone and us too. That actually can be a challenge. Like with our eggs, they are in such high demand sometimes we find that we short our own family of them. Then we have to quickly put a hold on them since why else are we doing this if not to feed our own selves.

I suppose, if we keep doing this every year we'll get a feel for how much and what exactly to plant. We'll see what goes over and what does not. What we can grow successfully and what we can't. However we did do a survey so we aren't exactly going into it blind. People let us know what kind of produce they like. I'm quite thankful for that.

Another blessing is the fact that I'm not in the truck anymore. I find that I have alot more stamina to work around here without driving 400 (used to be 500 plus) plus miles a week. Our new helper is working out well so far. I tend to fret over things but, I'm gaining confidence as I see him getting more and more proficient. I tend to watch the clock thinking to myself, "ok, he should be in such and such a place at such and such a time" and then here he comes right on schedule and I breath a great sigh of relief. So as time goes by I'm not watching the clock quite so much. And not worrying quite so much.

Can't control everything anyway, a person needs to just put it all in the Lords hands and trust come what may, it all works out to the glory of God.

Until Next Time

6 Comments:

Anonymous Allen Shropshire said...

Russ
We're enjoying watching the progress of the greenhouse. Looks like it will be a lot of fun working as a family. I'm excited for you being home and not on the route, right where a dad should be. May God give you an abundant increase.
Allen

7:48 AM  
Blogger RL said...

Allen,

Thanks so much for the encouraging words.

We never made our kids do this stuff when they were little. If they wanted to participate they could but, it wasn't mandatory. Now we are enjoying the fruits of letting it be their choice. All three are now finding fulfillment in learning to do things and of discovering new skills. Plus, now they are realizing they can earn money literally right from the back yard.

God bless,

Russ

10:32 PM  
Blogger firemanb12 said...

I remember taking the greenhouse apart. That task in itself was a chore, I cannot imagine after what, 14 years remembering all those bolts we sweated twisting out, not to mention pulling what seems like dozens of pole that had been in the ground for years out! It is great to see it up and operational. Your garden makes my two buckets with two cherry tomato plants each look like a grain of sand on a beach! You have been very busy it appears. Good luck!

9:57 PM  
Blogger RL said...

Hey Brian,

Yeah taking down those green houses is permanently etched into our brains. I remember it seeming like we'd never get it all hauled away. My mom is actually a little nostalgic about it because she remembers the years that florist place was in business. She thought we should send a picture to the News Sun. That is if they are even in business any more.

11:19 PM  
Blogger Country Girl said...

I enjoyed reading your post. We are doing a farm stand this year for a first. It will be by honesty system but we will greet our customers when we can. This years garden is bigger then ever and I too feel like this is a Plantathon!
~Kim

3:18 PM  
Blogger RL said...

Kim,

Thanks for the comment. Good luck with the garden.

Russ

1:59 PM  

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