Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memorial Planting #2

Potatoes growing!

Tomatoes staked and surrounded by straw.  Grow tomatoes, Grow!

The field after barley was harvested.

The garden is 98% planted. There is about 20-25 cubic feet left to plant a few more items.
We need to till up a tiny bit more area if we want to have more green beans.

Margaret lost tooth #2-- picture kind of blurry- but that might not be a bad thing.

The kids were excited to get to the farm and play in the barley.  They had pushed down areas of the barley and made all sorts of paths and "houses" in the field.  Imagine their disappointment as we pulled up to the field and saw that it was all cut down.  It was fun to watch the tractor harvesting but not as fun as playing in the field.

The cucumbers, green beans, soup beans, broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, sesame were planted this weekend.  Lots of varieties of all of those.  I'll list the varieties in coming posts.

I'll be away for the next weekend for work so Mike will need to take a few new pictures.  The potatoes are getting pretty big!   

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Girls

Margaret lost a front tooth!  Love it!

Emily researched David Bowie for school and so she wore a wig to school.  What a hoot!

Pictures from last week

Word of warning- pictures may seem a bit blurry because I had a smudge on the camera lense and didn't realize till they were loaded on the computer.

Shallots and garlic doing great (shallots are picture #1 and garlic #2)!  So exciting to see those popping up and growing!

I've been wanting to get tadpoles for a few years now.  When I was a child, one summer my mom got a big glass jar and we put about 12 tadpoles in the jar and watched them grow on our kitchen table.  It was something I loved and have never forgotten.  Kevin got a tadpole container for his birthday that came with a coupon for a free tadpole.  FREE!  Just 7.99 for shipping and handling for 1- ONE tadpole.  The kids went down to our soon to be pond and got about 100 tapoles out.  We picked out 5 and are having fun feeding them and watching them grow.  Now that's what I call FREE.

Last week the barley was ready to be cut and the fields were gorgeous.  I have always loved the ocean.  I now have my own green ocean (until it gets harvested).

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Weekend Planting - #1

Today the farmer was harvesting the barley.  Cool equipment to harvest it.  We also met our new neighbors and their grandson.  He is 5 years old and he and the kids went off to the pond without telling any of us as we were touring the house.  Looks like Kevin might have a friend on some of the weekends!  We got a tour of the neighbors house and it looks great.  They'll have a great view of the animals someday as they are up the hill.

Today we planted lots of summer lettuce and some cabbage.  We also staked the tomatoes and surrounded them with hay.  

We need to figure out our irrigation plan and get it all ready.  

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Update on the Garden

Mike was out at the garden this week and said the potatoes are breaking ground.  He can see a few peas coming up as well.  
Mike met with the farmer that will plant on our land once more before we turn it into pasture. When Mike told him that he wanted the whole area seeded for grass later this fall, the farmer said "You got a lot of grass all ready- 20 heifers couldn't eat all that grass you got!"  Mike said that he's wondering what they guy will think once he starts getting out his polytape electric fence and puts all 20 heifers in a 1 acre spot in his intensive grazing program.

ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(AKA Emily)

Ok,I will write in regular handwriting, and then I will write in code.Ok, I will write in regular handwriting, and then I will write in code. 

Our Newest Greenakeys Contributor

Emily is the newest contributor to the Greenakeys blog.  I know that she will add a unique perspective to the blog.  Emily has a great sense of humor and this is her debut to blogging.
Welcome Emily!  

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers Day Gardening

Today we planted the brussel sporuts, yellow onions, white onions, ringmaster onions and sweet potatoes.  Margaret also planted a whole bunch of sunflowers.

Below are videos of the garden and the kids in the barley field.  Hard to see them- it went almost up to their heads.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sheep and Wool Festival

We went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival today.  Wow--- lots of sheep and lots of wool.  I think I want to learn to spin- not yet but maybe next year.  I'm getting better at knitting but its a whole level of new 'stuff' when you want to spin.

I have no idea what kind of sheep I'd want for fiber.  Actually, I'd want a little of them all.  Maybe 2 ewes from 4-5 different breeds.  The sheep that I have for fiber I really don't want to create offspring- just have them so that they can be sheared and then have lots of different fiber.  It's good to mix some of the different fibers so that you can create, dye, etc the type of yarn you want.

My beneficial herbs came on Friday.  Those are plants, flowers, herbs that you plant so that they attract the correct bugs that eat all the bad bugs in the garden.

Mike will have to take over this week with the garden posts as well as all the work as I'm out of town all week.  We need a new picture of the garden as it is really started to take shape and look like a real garden!

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Last night I quickly planted 70 tomato plants with Kevin.  He helped dig the compost in the wheelbarrow.  He is such a great helper and he is just adorable.  I love the kid.  To see him working that shovel that is as long as he is tall just about brought me to tears.

Today Mike and I went and planted the rest of the tomatoes-- the rest being another 140 plants.  We then planted garlic as well.  We will get showers tonight so the garden should get some needed water.  Mike also planted peas- dwarf and climbing peas on Friday.  

Here is the list of 37 varieties of tomatoes planted:
These are the smaller cherry type tomatoes:  (I envision them all mixed up in a bowl!)
Cheesmans- pear/plum shaped orange/red cherry tomato
Black cherry
Katinka cherry
bi-color cherry
small yellow pear
Kimberly- cherry 
red pear
green grape
gold nugget
christmas grapes
brown berry
yellow plum

Larger tomatoes:
banana legs
golden bison
extreme bush
cherokee red
Heinz 1439
Giant Tree
Red Stuffer- this one looks like a pepper on the inside and you can stuff it- hence the name
Yellow Stuffer
Bisignano #2
Australian Giant Oxheart
Brandywine- pink
Tennessee Heirloom
Orange Heirloom
Principe Borghese (sun drying)
Saucy- good for making ketchup
Sausage- good for canning
Orange Banana
Black Plum Paste
San Marzano
Amish Paste Tomato Heirloom

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Nothing to do with the farm- but Margaret turned 8 and this will likely be the last picture with her 2 front baby teeth.
She is also playing softball along with Emily and Dad is the coach.  Go Coach Mike!

The Electric Fencing and First Plantings

We put up fencing on Saturday and it gave the garden definition.  The fencing was easy to install.  Kevin and I planted about 500 potato plants and 30 shallot bulbs.  I didn't realize till I opened the garlic package and read the planting directions that garlic grows out from the individual clove.  So I had Kevin sit in the field and start tearing apart the garlic bulbs to the individual cloves.  I didn't realize how many I'd get-- looks like 250-300 cloves.  So we had to bring them home to finish the job up and will plant them this weekend.

After reading several ways to plant potatoes, I think I did ok with the method.  I planted them in a small trough in the hills.  Some websites show them being planted in the trough and then you use the hill to cover up the trough throughout the summer.  I think next year I will want to try out a method that uses more straw as covering.

We planted:
Banana Potatoes
Yukon Gold
Yellow Finn
All Blue
Red Sangre
Purple Viking
Russet Nugget
German Butterball

French Red Shallots
Early Italian Purple Garlic
Red Ruby Potatoes
Princesse LaRatte Potatoes
Russian Banana
All Blue
Potato Bintje

I then went back and planted the strawberries.  I have Alpine Strawberries, and Seascape, Albion, and Aroma.  The Alpine were everbearing but the other 3 are June/July berries.  The Alpine Stawberries I grew from seed and the others I ordered as strawberry crowns.  What I got in the mail was a bag of strawberry roots about 6-8 inches long with a 1/2 inch strawberry crown on it.  We got our soil tests back and the soil is a PH 5 so the strawberries took off after only 3-4 days.  This will mean that the other berry bushes we get at some point should thrive as well!

It is so calm and peaceful on our lot.  There is no traffic noise, just the wind and the birds and animal sounds.  Sometimes there is a plane landing at the local airport- but not that often.  I cannot wait to move there and be able to experience that calm every day.  I might even have to make myself a little area in the middle of the property where I can sit and meditate each day.  I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it.