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Archive for the ‘Garden Pictures’ Category

You’ve grown them. You’ve saved them to show to friends. Or maybe you were somewhat put off and chucked into the woods to spare ridicule. Now, The Soulsby Farm gives you the “First Ever Ugly Tomato Contest” Submit your photo of the ugliest/mutated/ infected/conjoined/ tumor ridden monster and our panel will pick out favorites and post them for you to vote on. The winner  and runner-up will get some cool prizes and bragging rights.

To Enter:

  1. Contest Open to Followers of the Soulsby Blog (if you haven’t haven’t signed up for the email subscription do it before you enter) and Soulsby Farm Facebook friends (like Us and enter) You don’t have to be both but we like our FB Page too.
  2. You or a friend must have grown the tomato and taken the picture, so don’t be lame and search Google for ‘ugly tomato’ cause we’ll find you.
  3. Email your photo to ugly.tomato@yahoo.com
  4. All pictures must be received by August 31st, 2012
  5. We’ll post the ugliest of the ugliest on September 2nd and voting will go for 2 Weeks Ending September 16th when we announce the winners.
  6. Good Luck Everyone!

To sum it up, email us your ugly tomato photo to: ugly.tomato@yahoo.com and check back to see if you made the Top list to be voted upon.

 

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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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Cucumbers are coming in real nice. We’ll be pickling soon.

Zucchini’s blossoming and the Brandy-wine Tomatoes are loving this heat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peas need trellised, corn is coming up and so are soybeans.

Pumpkins popped up a day ago and the bush beans are getting big.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chickens frolicking and a bunny. I gotta do something about the bunnies. They’re eating up all my beans.

Broccoli. Nothing better than fresh broccoli marinated with soy sauce and garlic and cooked on the grill.

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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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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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I was able to get some broccoli, cabbage and onions sets planted when I got home this evening. I mound up the soil, add some organic manure and pop ’em in the ground. I like to separate root vegetables.It’s easier when you have to dig them all up.

 

The chickens enjoy foraging for worms and bugs while I plant.

Cucumber Patch is filling in nicely. Can’t wait till the fresh dill comes in. Mindy likes dill pickles, I’m a bread and butter chip man myself. Here’s a very simple recipe for dill pickles:

DILL PICKLES RECIPE (CRISP)
2 c. water
1 c. white vinegar
2 tbsp. canning salt
1 bunch of dill in each quart jar
Boil first three ingredients 5 minutes. Fill quart jars with cucumbers and dill. Pour boiling brine into jars of cucumbers and let set 5 or 10 minutes. Pour liquid from these jars back into kettle and boil again 10 minutes. Return to jars and seal.Set sealed jars immediately into boiling water. Set off the heat and allow jars to cool completely in this pan of water. WATER NEED NOT COVER THE JARS. 1/2 to 2/3 up on jars. Do not process. This can be multiplied 10 times for 8 quarts of pickles.

 

Chickens are funny little creatures. They’re like little robots. Their movements are very stoic. I let them out to roam around after work when I go to planting. They just kind of hang around and scratch and eat worms, bugs and other stuff. It also cuts down on the amount of pellets you have to feed them cause they feed themselves. It’s a real “win/win” situation. That is until tomatoes start coming in then they just go after the fruit like a moth before a flame.

 

Wild blackberries are coming in too! We’ll make jelly. I won’t eat it but Mindy and our friends dig blackberries. I’m a strawberry man myself.

  

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