Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Garden Update

The following pictures are from 3 weeks ago-- but I had to start at the beginning of the garden's life.  I love to see how it starts off so barren looking but each week it takes on new life.

We had the open house for CSA members last weekend.   Thanks to those who came even though the weather didn't necessarily cooperate.  I had a special request to grow kolrabi so that will be added to the garden.  I will take any and all other requests as well.

We've decided that we are not going to do the farmers market this year since we have the perfect sized CSA.  There are 15 customers in the CSA and we're full.  We want to be able to provide as much great food for those 15 customers as possible and so although we say you'll get the bushel of food a week, it'll likely be a lot more than that (especially as we get past mid-June).  You'll also be able to take more of what you like and less of what you don't like.  And if the crops are super abundant like they were last year--- then at least we have 15 people that will hopefully take advantage of the bounty!   We are thinking that this is a better way to give out the produce from the CSA as well when you have a small CSA.  In the larger CSA's, they have it down and really do give you the exact weekly amount of produce each week.  But what if you are having guests one weekend and you need more tomatoes or watermelon.  How can I choose what you might want in week 13.  Maybe you really just want a whole bushel of zucchini and tomatoes so you can make a lot of sauce and store it for the winter.  We want you to be able to have that without paying more for it.  So while there will be some standard items ready for you in your box each week, we think that a lot will also be a la carte.  

And if there are still extras after everyone has taken what they want, then the chickens and pigs will love the  extra vegetables.

So on to the garden---  but before that, I'm still on a greenhouse/high-tunnel kick.  I'm learning this year how important it will be to have a high-tunnel as you need this to start things early.  I did start a lot with heat mats and lights but you need the space and the natural light from a high-tunnel to really get things started early and to keep it going so you can plant at the last minute when the temperatures get better.  I know I was a good late season gardener as lots was still harvestable till mid-November but the early season gardening has provided a new challenge for me.  Lots of things I'll do different next year-- including a small greenhouse if the larger one proves to be too expensive.  If anyone knows of a used greenhouse/hightunnel--  let me know as I'm looking for a bargain.

The snap peas are doing ok.  The seeder I used still gives me trouble and it plants sporadically.  
This plot worked out ok except for the large area in the middle that was weeds.  The reality of gardening is there are lots of weeds, but you can always dig them under and start over.  Which is what we did with that middle section.   It is now planted with spinach.

The raspberries are full of leaves and starting to grow.

Onions and shallots look great.  The onions I started from seed in this area are also doing really well but I didn't get a picture.  The ones from seed are so small but they look adorable in the row.  We'll have a nice supply of onions throughout the season.

Garlic is also doing very well.  There was one section that didn't grow well.  The supplier did send a note to tell us that it might not do well-- and it didn't.

This is the newest section of the garden.  In this shot it is empty.  When I take a picture this weekend you'll see that it's much busier in this area.  By the end of this weekend it should be filled up (or very close to being filled up).
This is the potato, sweet potato, next years strawberry patch and next years asparagus patch section.   The potato plants are already 6 inches high and soon we'll need to start covering them up so they grow some potatoes!

This is the current strawberry patch.  The plants are flowering and I see small green strawberries starting.  I'm thinking I will get some bird netting as a preventive measure.  I do not want anything to get these strawberries.  I grew these plants from seed last year and so I'm really thrilled that they are doing so well.


Julie said...

Looks great! I'm starting to get some little green strawberries on my plants too. So cute! We've had so much rain here that the peas and cucumbers are coming up wonderfully, but the tomato plants look yellow and sickly. Maybe I planted them a bit early. I didn't see any in you photos yet -- so I'm guessing this is my problem. Luckily I have extra seedlings I have kept indoors -- wish me luck. (You never met anyone who has so much trouble growing tomatoes as me!)

SteveandAlina said...

Great job on your huge garden! Wish we could be members of your vegetable CSA! Maybe I should find one out here.