Wednesday, January 14, 2015
I love leeks. They are the only member of the allium family to commonly stand on their own at the dinner table. And of course you can add a little potato and come up with a fabulous soup. So here you see my two little rows of leeks and a very necessary activity going on around them: weeding. All that rain, then a little sun and the unwanted vegetation has taken off. Who knows what might happen with a little warm weather. That would be scary.
Friday, January 9, 2015
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Winter weeds are spring up all over our place and, being certified organic, the best ways to get rid of them are hand weeding, or flaming. Flaming is far faster but has it's limitations, the biggest of which is that if you let the weeds get away from you, the torch won't get rid of them. It just singes the tops. The flame is fabulous on just-emerged seedlings and progressively less so as the plants gain in size.
Unfortunately, no flaming was accomplished yesterday because this farmer forgot how to hook up the flamer hose to the propane tank's valve spigot. Sounds rudimentary, but maybe not as much as it appears. As it turns out, there are inside and outside threads! So yesterday it was hand weeding as my tender brain processed this problem. And then, this morning, I had an epiphany! Strangely, this IS the Epiphany, the day according to Christians when the Christ child was revealed to the world, or at least the Three Wise Men who had travelled from afar. So today, those pesky weeds -- like the ones under my shoes in the big photo -- will have a fiery adversary. And I will have fiery farming fun! And I may be kicking myself with one of those steel-toed shoes in the big picture for not figuring it out yesterday!!
Sunday, January 4, 2015
Every winter provides new challenges and for farmers, and the rain and freezing weather of this winter have not let this farmer down. In fact, the massive storms that pounded our parched region for a good two weeks left my place flooded. At left is the low spot at Singing Frog Farm before and after the storms. All that water didn't just evaporate, either. It needed help to move on down the line. But that's not all. Significant portions of planting plots ended up sitting in water for a goodly number of days, then suffering through three nights of freeze one of which had my thermometer sitting at 23 degrees. The result is seen in the before and after pics up one of my planting plots. Before the storms, green and healthy and after the storms flooding and freezes, brownish and struggling. Let's hope for some warm weather to help it green up again before I plow it into the soil. So the deluge's positive impact at Singing Frog Farm may be to expedite creation of a retention pond to hold all that water ... a pond that just might be a good place to put some fish and crawdads, and which could be ringed by native flowers and grasses, providing a permanent home for some very special little singing frogs! It's times like these that make one yearn for the warmer weather which hopefully is already on its way. Rows of tomatoes, corn, cukes, peppers, potatoes. In between dealing with the ravages of winter we've been plotting a bounteous spring and summer and are chomping at the bit to get back to the farmers markets. So here's to the New Year. May it be even more bounteous than the last.