Saturday, June 18, 2011

Our three gardens

It’s been a few days since I last posted. There’s not been a lack of things to do, and I have still been accomplishing much. Once the rain stopped, we got busy in the garden. We set out 50# of seed potatoes, 32 pounds of onion sets, 150 tomato plants, nearly 300 sweet potato plants, a few cabbage and broccoli plants, and about three dozen eggplants. We’ve also planted peanuts, dried beans, green beans, sweet corn, pop corn, squash, melons, okra, and cucumbers. I’ll be planting some more sweet corn and green beans soon.

We’re using three different garden areas this year, more than we’ve utilized in the past. One has the onions, potatoes, tomatoes, and sweet corn in it at the present time. 025Another has the sweet potatoes and some watermelon. We’ll probably put the next planting of sweet corn in this garden since there is still room for it. The other, and largest, garden has several types of melons, green beans, dried beans, and peanuts in it.

The children have been helping with taking care of the garden. Each year as they grow they are more able to contribute to our food production. 004My boys have really been helpful this year with planting and weeding. I try to not overwhelm them with too much at a time, and they’ve really been doing a good job and with a good attitude.

I think it’s important for children to grow up with responsibilities and learning to work. There are so many things that they can do to contribute to their family, and there are so many valuable things to be learned through the process. Too many children, I’m afraid, are not expected to contribute to their families in meaningful ways. When I was growing up, my family had a very limited income, and our gardens provided a good deal of our food. Each of us was expected and required to participate in the growing, maintenance, harvesting, and preserving of food. I didn’t always appreciate it at the time, but I certainly do now.

One of the challenges we’ve faced with the gardens during the last couple of weeks is the deer. They decided that we’re growing food for them. They’ve eaten on our peas, beans, beets, chard, and lettuce. 037They basically destroyed the beets and chard – I guess they tasted good to them. After they’d eaten on the beans which were just starting to blossom, I put up some deer deterrent: baling twine. I’ve been told that deer don’t like the smell of baling twine, and three years ago we put up a fence of it around our garden because of the deer, and it kept them out of it.

After I fenced off the beans with baling twine, the deer decided to eat some of the younger beans. These deer appear to be very hungry based upon how they’ve been eating. 032So, the boys and I put up a perimeter fence around the bean garden using 10’ poles driven into the ground and four strands of baling twine. We also tied rectangles of aluminum flashing onto each pole to move with the wind and create noise. So far, the deer haven’t been back in the garden, but it’s only been a couple of days. I’m hopeful it will keep them out for most of the growing season.

Yesterday, Malchiah and I worked on getting some of our tomatoes staked up. Last year I used livestock panels in an A-frame configuration – two panels on either side of the row tied together at the top. 015This year my rows are 30 feet long which requires four panels per row. I have 12 panels and didn’t want to spend the money to buy more. So, to be able to cover more rows (we have 8 rows of tomatoes), I changed the method for this year.

We started with three rows yesterday. I set some cedar posts at the ends of the rows and one post in the middle of each row. Then, we hung two panels between the posts right above the tomato plants. The panels are about 9 inches off the ground. I tied the larger plants to the bottom of the panels and wove their branches them. As the plants grow, we’ll weave them through the panels to the top, or as tall as the plants grow. We’ll tie them to the panels as necessary. It takes more work to set posts in the ground, but this way we have enough panels for six rows. 020I’ll stake up the other two rows differently.

We’ve been enjoying fresh blueberries and black raspberries this week. Soon, it’ll be time to pick blackberries. We usually pick and preserve as many blackberries as we can. Last year we picked around 20 gallons. We’re planning on doing the same this year.

I’ve been teaching two sections of my class this summer. There’s one more week to go in the session. It’s been taking a lot of time, but it’s worth it. My objective is to encourage the students to question the institution of school by considering some of its harmful effects and how it is not designed to promote learning/education as they assume. As one of the authors they read says, “School makes children stupid.” I enjoy the class, but it’ll be nice to be able to focus and devote my time to projects (like finishing our house) here on the farm.

11 comments:

Theophanie

You guys, and your gardens, are so amazing. I just love reading all the things you do.

Blacksmith Chase

WOW!!!!! Now THAT is what I call a garden. Reminds me of the one we grew in Northern Ky.

dp

Theophanie, thanks for your comment. I'll try to update more often so that you can read more!

Chase, if you would like to come over and pull weeds for a while just to relive your Northern KY gardening experiences, you are more than welcome!

Blacksmith Chase

OK. Just point me in the right direction, and watch the weeds fly. hahahaha

Running Around Acres

I'd love to see more of your gardens for ideas on staking and planting. I only have 6 acres (all pasture) and start a very small garden this year (32x32 feet) but am looking to turn the 1.5 acre pasture into garden next year.

dp

Running Around Acres, I will take some photos and write a post with some specifics on our gardens. There are many blessings in gardening and many different ways to do it.

Throwback at Trapper Creek

Love seeing big gardens! They look beautiful and show all your family's hard work.

I wish deer would respect baling twine here...and I am curious what is your yield on 32 pounds of onion sets?

dp

TaTC, when I get time (sometime in the next couple of days, I hope), I'll write another post on our gardens with photos, including of the many weeds! The baling twine has kept the deer out fairly well. A momma and fawn visited after a couple of weeks, but they didn't eat much. The pieces of aluminum flashing that bank on the posts in the wind probably help, too. I'll have to let you know about the onions.

Throwback at Trapper Creek

Looking forward to your posts. We just got everything weeded and side-dressed in our gardens and got a good soaking of rain. Great for the garden and pasture, not so good for the hay making.

Cool and wet here, we've only had a day or two in the low 80's yet this year.

Home and Homestead

dp,
My wife and I are heading down the homesteading path, although we just got started. We live up in Buffalo,KY, and would consider it a blessing if you would allow us a visit to your place. Could you please contact us at hnhs (at) mail.com
Shalom,
Messianic Rabbi Vann Lantz

Cassie K

Please post and update us on your garden in 2015 :)

-Cassie K, Vegans Living off the Land

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