Saturday, September 05, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

We've added goat milk soap and honey to the road side stand, plus a complete line of Burning Bush maple syrup products.

The soap was made by our friend Kristine. The honey came from our growing partners, a cousin of theirs is a bee keeper.

Our friends the Burnses' have the maple syrup products. They have quite an array of products, maple popcorn, maple pancake mix, maple mustard sauce, maple cream, amongst others, besides the pure maple syrup.

The squash plants are now into their peak.
We've been selling lots of sweet corn. Sold hundreds of dozens by now. Kelli figured out a way to add some more value to it in that she shucked it and is now offering shucked corn. Normally we get $5 a dozen for the corn, the pealed and bagged stuff goes for $3 a half dozen. And it is selling like that. People will pay for the convenience.

We planted tomatoes in the hoop house this year. It seems to have taken forever to get ripe tomatoes but, they are coming ripe now and we are offering them for sale. Corn and tomatoes are two of the biggest requested items.

When Kelli went to that market garden school she learned a new way to trellis tomatoes. It is simply a string hung over a pipe with special trellis clips holding the vines to the strings. It is very impressive to go inside the hoop house and walk down a isle of plants making walls that reach the ceiling. Perhaps you can see the strings in some of these pictures.

We mow the isles with an old time rotary push mower. We bought this thing at a rummage sale years ago and still works like new. I'd bet it is 50 plus years old.
We got the trellis clips and string from
Johnny's Selected Seeds

This will probably be our biggest weekend yet in produce sales. Today we sold out of sweet corn. We started with 40 dozen ears yesterday and it was gone by this afternoon. We located some more good corn that was being sold in Rhinelander so we got 20 more dozen from them to try and finish the long weekend.
We would have been set with corn but, some that we got from our grower in Eagle River wasn't very good. This has been a bad season for us in our area for warm weather crops. There is nothing wrong with the Eagle River corn, it's just that much of it isn't filled out enough yet. So tomorrow Kelli will shuck it and cut off the unripened portions. Fortunately our friend John S. found some more sweet corn from another near by source and we will have an ample supply tomorrow.
We don't make much on the sweet corn but, it is a good draw and people buy other things while they are here for the corn. It is well worth the effort to obtain it. Sweet corn is a very risky crop to grow in our area with such a short season. We just had our first hard frost last Sunday night. Monday morning we had ice in the water buckets. We didn't loose much because we had purchased floating row cover earlier this year and covered most everything with that. However there was about 20 feet of pumpkin plants not covered and they got toasted. My Painted Mountain Corn took the frost alright and it is still going. It's still small but, is still progressing.
We planted that corn along with a number of other crops on a brand new tilled plot. Never gardened in that spot before. Everything there is rather stunted. Never really took off. I suspect the pH or something is off. People in our area put alot of lime in the soil. So it could be that the soil is too acidic. The potatoes did well. Well at least if it hadn't been for the deer eating off the tops. We have potatoes but, not a bumper crop to be sure. Let me put it this way, the potatoes we do have are really, really good. Just not as large a quantity as we'd hoped. Thanks to the deer. I think I'll be hunting this year! Our neighbor said that he hasn't seen deer in a long time. I told him it's because they've all been in our garden!!! He laughed of course!
Kelli's sister is still living with us. She is recovering from her heart attack and other health issues. But, she is slowly but, surely improving thank the Lord. This has been quite a year so far. Lots of un-expected's for sure. We've had a couple of company's interested in buying our garbage business. Been working through that. Things might not work out in that direction. Then I've had two different people approach me about hiring them and well, I broke down and hired one of them, at least for a while anyway. He starts first thing Tuesday morning. Lord knows I could use the help. I've been back to working by myself this summer. And I'm feeling it. I think hauling about 250 tons of garbage and recycling a year now.
Well, I'd better wrap this up. I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend.
Take care and
God Bless.
Until Next Time


Blogger Lynn Bartlett said...

Hi Russ,
I'm so impressed with all that you do! We haven't had frost yet, but our corn still isn't ready. The guys planted a bit and used a row cover so that is almost ready, but we should have had a harvest by Aug. 1. Thankfully our hoop house was planted to the gills with tomato plants. I've gotten some ripe ones out of that, but we still have 300 more plants in the field that should be ready by now. They were the two crops we were going to sell, but so far nothing. I think we're going to have to do more with row covers next year if we want to have a chance at having mature plants before frost.

What a blessing that you could be a help to your sister-in-law.

7:49 PM  
Blogger RL said...

Hi Lynn,


Floating row covers seem to be a good thing in climates with unpredictably cool weather. Even when there isn't a chance of frost the temperatures under the covers is warmer than without. Our cucumbers finally came in after we put floating row cover on them.

The love of Christ compels us to do what we can for who ever we see in need.

10:38 PM  

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