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Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Just a simple growing update from the farm. Lot’s of gratuitous glamor shots all from the farm, except the last 2 I took at a local winery…. A special thanks to Brother Dave for helping out so much this season….. How’s your season growing so far?

garden shot

pumpkin growing vinehot peppers on plantgreen peppers plant

bush beans growingcucumbers growingtomato growing garden

chicken eating run

summer flowers

brocolli growingzuchini growing

vineyard black and white

vineyard

 

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Want to start your growing season early? Maybe extend in into the winter months? Then build a cold frame or sometimes called a mini greenhouse. A cold frame is 4 walls that secure heat and protect plants from the elements and a top that allows light through.

straw bale cold frame

Step 1) Find a good location that gets lots of sunlight and faces south.
Step 2) Build the walls. I used straw bales. They’re great at holding in heat and no tools are needed.

cold frame 1

Step 3) Use some old windows to put on top. I used some storm windows I found in the trash at a local church.

cold frame2

Step 4) Fill with plant trays full of seeds.
Step 5) Keep an eye on temperature, moisture and airflow. Open up the lid a few inches to circulate fresh air in.
Step 6) Acclimate your seedlings by taking the lid off when they get bigger.

Happy Planting!

cold frame straw3

Next Post: Starting your seeds in the cold frame.

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I was hoping to trap a raccoon that’s been trying to get into the chicken coop but instead, I caught this little guy. I also made a 34 second video of his catch and release below the facts part.

Opossum in trap

I didn’t know much about these marsupial creatures so I looked up some facts about them:

  • The word opossum refers to the North American species (those found in other areas are called possums)
  • The Virginia opossum is only found in the United States
  • Opossums are related to Kangaroos, Koalas, Tasmanian Devils, and Brazilian Short-hair Pigmy Possums
  • Opossums help gardens by eating snails, slugs, insects, snakes, rats and overripe fruit.
  • Opossums are highly resistant to diseases such as rabies because of its efficient immune system and lower body temperature.
  • Opossums are not a public health threat.
  • There is far less of a risk of infection from opossums than from house pets.
  • The opossum’s greatest enemies are cars and domestic pets.
  • Another predator of opossums is people, who hunt them for food, sport, and pelts.
  • Other enemies include owls, foxes, and larger wildlife.
  • Opossums compete with sheep and rabbits for food.
  • Opossums have more teeth than any other North American land mammal (50).
  • Opossums are not territorial and move to wherever food is available.
  • Opossums cannot hang upside down by their tail, but use their tail to climb.
  • Marsupial refers to the reproductive system, which entails the very young embryos being born and attaching to the mothers nipples
  • Opossums do not have good eyesight or hearing — they rely mainly on their sense of smell.
  • Opossums are very clean animals and groom themselves much like a cat does.
  • Opossums are also found in Australia and South America

These facts were found at: http://biology.clc.uc.edu/students/114-sum98-opossums/misc.htm

My favorite part of this video is at the end when I pan over to the chickens… They’re all like “What the heck was that?”

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Catbird – 35.4% of votes

Grumpa Joe – 25.77 of  votes

Congratulations! Send me your address and we’ll send you your prizes. $20 Gift Certificate to The Zoey Zoo (great 1 of a kind whimsical illustrations with themes such as animals, insects , vegetables and more!) and 5 packets of heirloom seeds from Baker Creek Seeds.  Runner up will receive a prize as well.

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Thank you for everyone who sent in a pic for our 1st Ever Ugly Tomato Contest. Please view the pictures below and vote for your favorite-most ugly tomato. The winner will receive a $20 Gift Certificate to The Zoey Zoo (great 1 of a kind whimsical illustrations with themes such as animals, insects , vegetables and more!) and 5 packets of heirloom seeds from Baker Creek Seeds.  Runner up will receive a prize as well.

Vote as often as you like. Post on Your Blog of Facebook Page and get voting. Winners will be announced in two weeks on September 23rd. Just click on the poll with the number of the picture you like. You can vote for up to 3 tomatoes at once. Good Luck Finalists!

#11

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#1

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The pumpkin patch is beaming with life! I love to watch the pumpkins grow. One day there’s a little pumpkin the size of a golf ball, 2 days later it’s the size of a softball. I hope your pumpkins are doing great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jack-Be-Little’s are turning orange already. How are your sunflowers?

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Aphids and aphid mummies on the underside of a nasturtium leaf (smoky gray aphids, tan puffy aphid mummies)

For some gardeners, the mere sight of aphids on their beloved plants is a call to action. They grab the closest bottle of poison and squirt the aphids into oblivion. What many gardeners don’t realize is that aphids are the food of choice for an assortment of beneficial insects. These good bugs are likely hard at work among every aphid infestation, munching, laying eggs for the next generation inside their unsuspecting prey, or sucking the aphid carcasses dry. One squirt from the bottle of insecticide will kill some (not all) of the aphids, and most of the beneficial insects.

If only we could easily tell at first glance that beneficial insects are on the scene! They don’t wear white hats or wave flags to alert gardeners to their presence. Instead, beneficial insects creep, crawl and squirm across our plants, often appearing as if they could be the cause of damage, not the cure.

Take hover fly larvae, for example. As adults, these bee-mimics visit flowers, feeding on nectar and pollen. When the female finds an aphid population, she lays her eggs on the infested plant. Like all flies, the hover fly juvenile stage is a maggot, in this case a small maggot that feeds on aphids. The legless, semi-transparent hover fly larva hardly looks the part of a beneficial insect, but each individual can eat dozens of aphids every day.

Lady beetle eggs (yellow) on a purple leaf plum leaf.

Another aphid-killer that feeds in the larval stage is the lacewing. As adults, these delicate insects with netted wings feed mainly on pollen and nectar. Lacewing larvae, sometimes called “aphid-lions”, are efficient predators, stalking down aphids and piercing them with their hooked jaws. After removing the contents from the aphid’s body, the lacewing larva casts aside the empty aphid carcass, and heads off in search of another victim.

Ladybird beetles are also voracious predators of aphids, feeding in both the adult and the larval stage. Like hover flies, ladybird beetles (also known as ladybugs) will lay their yellow, spindle-shaped eggs on plants that have active aphid colonies. The beetle larvae look nothing like the adult ladybug. They are spiny and elongated, sometimes compared to baby alligators.  These active hunters crawl over leaves and across stems to find their next meal.

Parasitic wasps are another group of aphid-eating insects unlikely to be noticed by the uninitiated. The tiny female wasp stings individual aphids, laying an egg inside the aphid’s body. The egg hatches into a wasp larva, which eats the aphid from the inside, killing its victim and causing its body to become papery and swollen. These so-called “aphid mummies” can be seen in aphid colonies; some mummies will have a round hole where the adult wasp emerged to begin the cycle again.

Lady beetle larva

When the gardener rushes for the bottle of insecticide, the predators will likely be killed, but surely not every aphid will die. Since aphids can be born pregnant with their granddaughters, their populations can skyrocket in the absence of beneficial insects.

These aphid predators will in time bring balance to the garden, keeping aphid populations down to a dull roar. If the predators are allowed to complete their lives in the garden – meaning the gardener has provided a habitat with plenty of flowers and a few aphids to feed upon – they are likely to stick around, ready to feed on any future aphid outbreaks.

So the next time you see aphids, grab a magnifying glass and take a closer look. Chances are, the good guys are already on the scene.

Thank You Denise for your Guest Blog!

Fans are invited to join the OSU BeeLab contact list for updates and workshop offerings. Follow my bee blog at www.OSUpollination.com
Denise Ellsworth
honey bee and native pollinator education
OSU Department of Entomology

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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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We’ve been taught from a young age that rabbits are cute, cuddly, adorable little creatures. They fool hunters and outsmart monsters…They sell us cereal and batteries… They help a young prince grow up and learn to skate… They save the world, promote naked women and are sometimes late but what they really are……..are garden destroyers.

You’ve been brainwashed,  Ya been bamboozled into believing these creatures are harmless and I’m here to say, No! All my hard work from; preparing the soil, planting, watering, weeding and general upkeep can be shattered in a single day by one of these varmints.

You can’t really trap a rabbit during the summer. Why would a rabbit enter a metal trap (with whatever bait) when there is a cornucopia of fresh veggies and herbs all over the place? Besides, live trapping of rabbits is not recommended because rabbits can carry certain diseases which may be transmittable to the trapper. Here are a few.

I recommend a .22 , a steady aim and patience. I know it sounds terribly cruel and inhumane but its all part of being self-sufficient. You can’t be self sufficient if you don’t have any produce left to consume and can. Here are some Delicious Rabbit Recipes, my wife is Italian and her Grandmother would always make tomato sauce with rabbit. Don’t worry about the rabbit population, it’s booming.

Rabbits have a very fast reproductive rate. The breeding season for most rabbits lasts 9 months, from February to October.  Normal gestation is about 30 days. The average size of the litter varies but is usually between 4 and 12 babies, with larger breeds having larger litters.  A kit (baby rabbit) can be weaned at about 4 to 5 weeks of age. This means in one season a single female rabbit can produce as many as 800 children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. A doe is ready to breed at about 6 months of age, and a buck at about 7 months.(Source)

Here’s a link to 10 Ways to deter rabbits from your garden in a feel good happy way: Click Here. Of course, none on this list has actually worked for me. I think I have mutant bunnies.

Rabbits eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, which make it difficult to keep them out of vegetable gardens. Rabbits enjoy eating lettuce, carrots, apples, strawberries, pears, broccoli, kale, spinach, celery and tomatoes. Rabbits will eat almost any leafy vegetable. Rabbits will eat garden vegetables to the ground and damage the bark around certain bushes.

I know some of you have rabbits as pets and I think that’s great. They’re not eating your garden. So, let’s end on a fun note……

My Top Ten Famous Rabbits of All Time:

  1. Bugs Bunny (Our buddy)
  2. Rabbit (Winnie the Pooh)
  3. Thumper (Bambi)
  4. Velveteen Rabbit (my favorite)
  5. Peter Cottontail (Thornton Burgess)
  6. White Rabbit (Alice in Wonderland)
  7. Roger Rabbit (from Who Framed?)
  8. Playboy Bunny (Classic)
  9. Trix Rabbit (Love me some Trix)
  10. Energizer Bunny (I hate him)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here’s a list of my tips to grow more veggies, keeps animals away, water the right way and more!

  1. Make plant markers by using an old mini blind. Take the slats, cut them with scissors and use a Sharpie. Go to Goodwill if you don’t have any. You can get one for .50 cents.
  2. Keep deer away from your garden by using human hair. I save my clippings when I buzz my head or you can go to your local hairdresser and ask for hair, they may look at you weird but they’re happy to get rid of it. Sprinkle it around the perimeter and replace every couple weeks or after a big rain.
  3. Use coffee grounds to fertilize your soil. Go to a local coffee shop and ask for their spent grounds. They save them at my shop for gardeners and have a sack behind the counter.
  4. If starting vegetables from seed is intimidating, try radishes. They’re really easy and go from seed to fruit in 35 Days.
  5.  Also, to keep deer and other animals out of the garden, pee on the fence posts. This is easier if you’re a guy but if you’re a gal, be happy about multiple orgasms.
  6. To trap critters, I’ve had the best luck with the following bait; Raccoons love marshmallows and cat food. Rabbits like carrots (duhh) but love brussel sprouts and spray the trap with apple cider. Ground Hogs love apples and mice well…peanut butter is all you need.
  7. Don’t water during the day. It’s useless and a waste. Most of it will evaporate and if you water the plant, the sun can burn it up (think of water droplets as tiny magnifying glasses). Always water at the base. Keep in mind vegetables are made up of mostly water. A tomato is 90-95% water.
  8. If you want to get children interested in gardening, stay away from root vegetables. They can’t see the growth and understand what’s going on underneath the ground and can’t visualize it. Stick with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, pumpkins and corn. The changes are visually stunning and fun to watch.
  9. Always plant flowers throughout your garden to attract pollinators. And besides, it atheistically pleasing.
  10. Grow organically and plant non-GMO seeds. Why put poison on something you’re going to eat. And if you’re growing organically, be sure your plants and seeds are not genetically modified. Why waste time gardening organically if you’re growing a tomato created by splicing fish dna and a strawberry?

On the topic of GMO’s….On Friday, The Farm Bill amendment that would have unambiguously given states the rights to label genetically modifiedingredients in food without fear of reprisal from biotech companies was been voted down in the Senate. The amendment, introduced by Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Mark Begich (D-AK), was voted down by 73-26. If your Senator didn’t vote for it, call their office. Here’s a link to all the Senators from every state Click Here.

It was all over every major news corporation, wasn’t it? Ohh wait, it wasn’t covered by anyone.

Plug: My wife created a site of wonderful artwork; whimsical themes for children in a variety of mediums. She offers original works, archival reproductions and can also create custom artwork for those who request it.  Please visit her site by clicking on the banner above.

and finally a quick update on the farm…….in pictures. Happy Sunday everyone!

Lady bug on a bush bean plant

I need to trellis the peas.

Orange is my favorite color

Pumpkin patch is blowing up.

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