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Posts Tagged ‘farm’

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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I gave a presentation to the Hudson Garden Club on Thursday, October 20th about the farm, organic gardening, this blog and Project Garden Share. It was a huge success! I just want to say “Thank You” again to Sherry Beam and Mary Gallo for inviting me to come lecture.

Thanks to some great marketing (see news coverage below) we had a full house of 80+ guests. Thanks for saving the stories Dot Reid! She gave me the copies before I began for my scrapbook, how sweet….

Other than a few technical glitches, the program went very smooth.

For more information about the Hudson Garden Club, please visit their website  The Hudson Garden Club is dedicated to spreading the knowledge and love of gardening, the beautification of public property and the support of education in horticultural and related fields. Wonderful!

Also, I started a Facebook Page for Project Garden Share Please help our little non-profit group get soaring by “Liking” us and asking others to do the same. PGS is a non-profit organization helping those in need of food with individuals who own land and allow needy individuals to farm their land to cultivate fresh vegetables and herbs. The land is tended to by the needy in order to grow their own food.

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Storm clouds rolled in yesterday and it looked spectacular. The sky grew dark but the sun was shining on the other side. Made for some great pictures. Click on any image to see a larger version, so make a great screen saver. I do love fall.

I will be speaking to the Hudson Garden Club on October 20th at 7:30 about the farm, the blog and the benefits of organic gardening. It’s going to be a great presentation so mark it on your calender now, I’d love for y9ou to join me!  The program will will at Laurel Lake Retirement Center, off Boston Mills Road in Hudson. For more information, please visit the Club’s website at: http://www.hudsongardenclub.org/

 

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Summer’s coming to a close. The daylight is fleeting and the cool autumn air is whistling through the trees and soon their leaves will put on a spectacular color show and I’ll have to rake them into big piles and haul them to the curb. The garden plants are hanging on and giving all their energy to the fruits clinging onto their stems.

We picked some pumpkins yesterday and celery, peppers, tomatoes, cabbage and one crazy zucchini. The root vegetables can still sit in the ground for another couple of months. On a cool fall Saturday afternoon, I’ll head out back and dig up a wheelbarrow filled with onions and carrots and celery. So, long as the Buckeyes are playing an evening game and as long as I have a hot cup of apple cider to sip on.

Jake will help. By help I mean pee on anything that’s still vertical. As the world’s only farm Chihuahua, he has to mark his territory right? Mindy is always a big help harvesting too. She doesn’t like the planting but is a patient harvester. Carefully looking underneath each vine and every leaf. She can have some hot apple cider too.

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The temperature dropped 30 degrees in one day and it feels like autumn is on under way. The corn is turning a deep purple and the pumpkins are turning a brilliant orange. The sky is littered with gray clouds and a soft rain is falling. Time to bust out the crock-pot and make some warm meals. Chili is on the way tonight, made with fresh tomatoes, green peppers and onions from the farm. Best of all, football starts tomorrow and I can’t wait.

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Ready to make some tomato sauce? Click on any of the thumbnail to see a larger version of that picture. First, pick some ripe tomatoes. Have them guarded by a big dog to protect from rabbits, then wash and quarter the tomatoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next throw em in a pot (not aluminum) and mash em up a bit and place on medium heat on the stove. Bring to a rolling boil. I don’t add anything to the tomatoes. I like a blank slate to use the sauce for chili or pasta or anything else. Feel free to toss in some basil or garlic to make the sauce to your likings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cook the tomatoes down by a third. Look for the ring on the pot and guess. Place a Food Mill on top of another pot and turn the handle clockwise. This removes the skin and a lot of seeds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a better look at the food mill (also called a sieve). Take the strained sauce back to the stove and reduce again about a third. Use a funnel and fill cans to 1/2 inch from top .  Place cans in boiling water with an inch of water above the cans and boil for 30-45 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

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The garden is bursting with life and the tomatoes are finally staring to ripen. Which means, it’s time to can. My Dad found me a pressure canner at a garage sale yesterday for $8. What a deal. New they run close to $90. I’ve been canning the “old fashioned” way by putting cans in a huge pot of boiling water that takes forever but with the new canner, it takes just minutes and only an inch of water and it doesn’t turn the kitchen into a sauna in August. Thanks Dad!

Stay tuned, I’ll post a “How To Can” article with step-by-step instructions later this week. If you have any questions, send them to me now.

 

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Dave got the fence patched up where the deer were braking in to feast on the watermelons, pumpkins and corn. An ear popped up today as well and I grabbed a picture of a dragonfly on the corn. Did you know that a dragonfly’s life span is just 24 hours? I also snapped a couple shots of the rabbit I must take down in order to save my crop. god, I hate rabbits and deer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Pepper, Thai Hot Pepper, Zucchini and tomatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found a ton of pumpkins popping up. I was worried that they wouldn’t be pollinated but after my last post I noticed lots of bees, dragonflies, ants and other insects doing the pollination job. Thanks for the help Mother Nature.

I’m trying a new format with this post. Wordepress has made it a pain in the ass to post pics and text and make it look decent. So, please take a moment to click on the thumbnail pic to see it.

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Here’s a cool side-by-side picture of when I planted pumpkins on June 16th and a picture I took this morning July 24th. It’s pretty amazing what Mother Nature can do in just 38 Days.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Pollination is the key to growing pumpkins. It all starts with the Male Flower which grows above the vines and opens about a week or so before the female flower. You can tell the difference between the Male and Female flower quite easily. Male is on the left below, Female is on the right.
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Male is up above the plant and the female grows on the vine underneath the leaves. The giant leaves shade the fruit. Bees, birds and other insects take the pollen from the Male flower from the center stamen and place it on the female flower in the center of the multi segmented stigma. There was a lot of insects doing the pollinating this morning.
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Due to the decrease of honey bees in certain areas, you can pollinate pumpkins yourself using a Q-Tip. Simply stick the Q-Tip into the center of the Male flower, and then place the Q-Tip (covered in yellow pollen) into the center of the Female flower.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
More Pumpkin Patch Pics….
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Pretty soon, you’ll have a pumpkin growing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found this guy hiding underneath the leaves. The first pumpkin of the season!

 

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