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Archive for the ‘farm pictures’ Category

If the garden thermometer had a setting that read “hot as balls” that’s what it would have read the past 3 days. Scorching heat with the heat index hitting 107 degrees by 9:00am. The heat wave has consumed most of the Midwest but has past on today, you’re welcome New York and Philly.

Thank You to Farm n Wife for doing a quick piece on us. See it here.

Here’s a bunch of pics of how the garden is doing.

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Chickens are getting big, should start laying any day now. They’re about 22 Weeks Old. Chickens usually start laying (depending on the breed) around 20-24 Weeks.

Spreading the manure with the neighbors Bobcat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rained all week but afterwards the sun came out and flowers bloomed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was able to get the fields disced again after the manure was spread. It supposed to rain again tomorrow so hopefully I can get some seed and plants into the ground before it does.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a nice day for a swim in the pond as Max and Moose showed their talents off chasing the ball.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon Balm is blowing up……and finally Max Photobombing and the plow after use (all shiny)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day to All.

 

 

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It’s been a while since I updated everyone on what we’ve been up to and we’ve been busy! [Click on any image to see a larger version.]

The chickens are doing well, I finally captured the mutilator. It wasn’t a coyote it was a raccoon. He’s moved on to greener pastures. Think chickens are dumb and didn’t know a monster was coming at darkness to kill them? Look at the pic below, they were roosting all the way on the very top on an electrical cord. So sad….

    

We got a tractor! A 1949 Ford 9N. Runs great. I can’t wait to restore it to its old glory. Still need to buy a plow and disc (it came with an auger, Woods mower and a plow for snow). It’s durable, long lasting and easy-to-fix. It’s basically an engine and transmission on a drive shaft with a PTO on the back. Ain’t she a beaut? Thanks Dad!

  

Built the greenhouse and planted lots of vegetables. Thanks Carrie!

  

On the non-profit front, Project Garden Share had a seed giveaway at Kent Social Services and it was a huge success. Thanks Dave!

  

We gave away over 500 Heirloom (Non GMO) seed packets thanks to our friends at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds who donated over $1,000 worth of seed to us. Through my work with PGS, I’ve never dealt with a more generous, friendly and fast acting company. If you need seeds, go straight to Baker and place an order with them. You will be happy you did and their catalog is gorgeous and fun to read.

All of their seed is non-hybrid, non-GMO, non-treated and non-patented.

Through my work with PGS, I’ve never dealt with a more generous, friendly and fast acting company. I ask you that if you need seeds, go straight to Baker and place an order with them. You will be happy you did and their catalog is gorgeous and fun to read.

Baker does not buy seed from Monsanto-owned Seminis. They boycott all gene-altering companies. They’re not members of the pro-GMO American Seed Trade Organization! Baker works with a network of about 100 small farmers, gardeners and seed growers.

And they offer over 1300 fine varieties!

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According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20, 2012, at 1:14 A.M. Let the countdown begin! If you live in the Midwest region of the U.S. (like us) you better get your seeds started inside to get a jump on summer. Now is the time to start: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Leeks, Onions and most importantly  Peppers, Tomatoes. A lot of seeds can be sown directly into the earth but these guys need a head start.

Get your order into Baker Creek (my favorite seed company that only sells heirloom seeds and NO GMO’s) There is also a really cool site that you type in your zip code and it figures out when you should start what veggie. http://sproutrobot.com/ If you don’t know how to start seeds inside I have to quote the movie Tommy Boy by saying “I’d have to hit you in the back of the head with a tack hammer.” Cause it’s that easy…. Get some seeds, some dirt, a couple of lights and wait.

Soon, it’ll be planted and you’ll have fresh veggies on the horizon, like these cherry tomatoes. I plant cherry (or grape) tomatoes just to munch them fresh off the plant while I’m working in the garden. They’re so sweet and delicious.

 

Corn you sow directly into the ground and in 75 short days it looks like this. Nothing is better in the summer than hand picked (in the morning) sweet corn roasted on the grill.

Ahhh Spring flowers from last season. I always plant a lot of flowers around the garden to attract pollinators  and of course there’s the aesthetic reasons…

 

 

I miss our goats. They were a funny pair around the farm.

 

Also, one quick question for any soil experts out there. We’ve had an extremely mild winter in Ohio. Usually at this time of the year, the ground is frozen solid 30″ deep. This year, it’s been so warm the ground never froze. My question is; What effect on the soil does this mean? Since it never froze did the insects never die? Did the bacteria never break down?

Not all bugs are bad. My upcoming post will discuss beneficial insects for your garden. Like this praying mantis I snapped a picture of in the rear field. After that post I’ll be going over “Making Your own Worm Farm” with Red Wigglers.

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I braved the frigid cold ( windchill) to stroll around the farm this morning and take some pictures. Jake couldn’t make it out back, the snow was too high. I guess that’s a problem when you’re only 7″ tall. A lot of people complain about the winter but I love it. Everyone needs a break and It’s so quiet and serene and so close to heaven I should pass around a collection basket.

 

 

 

Hang in the gardening friends! Soon it will all be green and overflowing with life, so enjoy the cold calmness of winter.

Next Blog: Starting Seeds Inside.

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Merry Christmas Everyone! Have a safe and joyous holiday season!

 

I will be presenting a lecture next month, Please join me!

Summit County – Master Gardeners of Summit County, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization affiliated with the Ohio State University Extension, Summit County, announce their annual Design & Beyond 2012 symposium on Saturday, January 21, 2012 at Zwisler Hall – St. Sebastian’s Church, 348 Elmdale Ave, Akron, OH 44320 from 8:30 am until 2:30 pm. Cost for the day, including continental breakfast, lunch and materials is $40 for all participants, and is open to the public.

Presenters will be:

Dan Soulsby – Local resident, Dan Soulsby is a passionate and avid organic gardener. On his small farm in Hudson, with the help of friends and relatives, over an acre of vegetables and herbs are hand planted. Soulsby’s passion for gardening began during time living in the cramped city Los Angeles where he worked at Disney Studios dreaming of his own little farm. He read almost every book he could get his hands on to educate himself on the principles and benefits of organic gardening. Soulbsy will discuss what he grows, how he grows it, the benefits of organic gardening, and his passion for sharing this information with fellow gardeners. This year he started a garden blog about farm life including witty humor, pictures, and how-to advice throughout the growing season. Recent posts include making tomato sauce, dill pickles, and catching fruit flies that come in with the harvest. Dan, and wife Mindy, created an organization called Project Garden Share. PGS is a non-profit organization linking those in need of food with individuals who own land and will allow others some space to cultivate fresh vegetables and herbs. This will be a great interactive program for all of us who love veggie and herb gardening!

Dan Soulsby will be presenting “Small Scale Organic Gardening and Farm Blogging.”

Bob Jones Jr.  – Grew up on his family’s vegetable farm in Huron near the shores of Lake Erie in a family that was born and bred with the love of farming. Hard times and fortunate “accidents” have defined and shaped their purpose and mission: “to grow vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature. ®” The Chef’s Garden has dedicated itself to working in concert with outstanding chefs all over America.  After graduating from The Ohio State University in 1989 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture, majoring in Horticulture, he worked in sales/purchasing at Farmer Jones Farms – the predecessor to The Chef’s Garden – for three years, before moving into field and greenhouse production in 1995. Bob, known to most on the farm as Bobby, currently works with a team of 12 growers at The Chef’s Garden to produce more than 600 Heirloom varieties of Vegetables, Herbs, and Micro greens for the world’s top chefs.           He has served on the board of directors of The Ohio Vegetable and Potato Growers Association for almost a decade; he also served for six years on the Board of the Ohio Produce Growers & Marketers Association, as well as on The Ohio Food Safety Roundtable. He is currently serving on the Board of the OFA, and association of Horticultural Professionals as well as the Ohio Vegetable and Small Fruit Research and Development Program and chairs the Advisory Board of the “Ohio Produce Marketing Agreement” which is a food safety specific marketing agreement.

Bobby Jones will be presenting “Farming for Flavor and Sustainability”

Hanna Rhoades of Bedford, OH is the owner of Gardening Know How (www.gardeningknowhow.com), one of the leading gardening advice sites on the web which was visited by over 7 million visitors last year.  GardeningKnowHow.com aim is to help gardeners at all levels answer their gardening questions. She also blogs about her own gardening experiences on her blog ThisGardenIsIllegal.com, and has a large following who appreciate her candid and amusing reviews of tomato varieties and gardening in general. She has been a presenter at RIPE at the Cleveland Botanical Garden the past two years on Heirloom Tomatoes. Rhodes enjoys using vertical gardening methods to maximize her gardening space, and we will enjoy a step by step Power Point presentation using her own yard as a demo. Vertical gardening has been gaining popularity in recent years as the interest in home food production has increased.                                                                                                                                                      Vertical gardening is a gardening technique that utilizes various resources to allow plants to extend upward rather than grow along the surface of the garden.

Hanna will present Vertical Gardening – Growing UP in the Garden”

Registration must be postmarked on or before January 7, 2012.  Late registration will be accepted until January 14, 2012 at the fee of $45. Registrations are transferable. No refunds after December 31, 2011

To receive a registration form: E-mail: Sherry Beam at: summitmgsnbeam@yahoo.com, or: mail a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Sherry Beam, 2633 Hudson-Aurora Rd., Hudson, Ohio 44236-2325

If you have any questions, please contact, Sherry Beam, facilitator – 330-342-0969

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It’s time to order your seed catalogs for next spring! Nothing helps you get through the long winter like browsing through seed catalogs with a cup of hot chocolate, a pad & pencil and a dream of a warm early spring. I’ve created a list of some great seed catalogs and a link to their catalog request page (so you don’t even have to navigate through their site). It may not seem like the greenest thing to do but so long as you recycle your catalogs, it’s okay in my book. I love thumbing through the color photos of gorgeous vegetables and herbs and planning my upcoming garden by drawing it out on paper. I go to Google Maps and print out an aerial photograph of my property and draw my garden to scale. This is the best list of vegetable seed websites and catalogs.

3 Direct Links to Vegetable & Herb Seed Catalogs – All Non-GMO

Baker Creek – http://rareseeds.com/requestcatalog/

Seeds of Changehttp://www.seedsofchange.com/garden_center/catalog_request.aspx

Seed Savershttp://www.seedsavers.org/CatalogRequest.aspx

I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had a chance to prepare the garden for next year! I’ve got a lot of work to do before the snow hits. I have to remove trellis’ and posts, dig up the onions and carrots (who are still sleeping tight underground), take in all the hoses and irrigation lines, cut down the skeletal remains of the veggie plants and compost them and turn the ground over. Ugghhhh…. Here’s what dire shape the garden is in now.

Coming up in our next blog; How to save your seeds for planting next year and Preparing your garden for planting in the fall (autumn) and winter.

Thank you all for making us the best small farm flog on the web.

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