Monday, June 20, 2011

This Weeks Update 6/19/11

This week has been a little slow, we finally got some rain starting last weekend and continuing into this week. This caused our outside work time to be less than it has been. Even though we were not out there working, the little plants were!
Our row of snap peas are looking great, we would like to put up a fence for supporting them soon. In the back of this photo you can see our new compost bin made of bales of straw. We will be collecting plant debris and grass clippings from the field as the summer goes on.

Next to the peas, our green beans, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower are looking good minus a few holes from those pesky little Cabbage Loopers.

We also planted a few herbs, here are our freshly planted basil plants.

Everything in tunnel one is growing great! Our tomatoes are growing bigger and bigger each day! All the support strings were put in place last week so that we can train the tomatoes and cukes to grow up.

Some plants even have open flowers!!

Our little cucumber plants are doing well too, although not as large as the tomatoes, they are still growing more and more each day.

We have been learning lots about managing pests too. Our winter squash had an attack by the Striped Cucumber Beetle. This is one of the very worst, the rest seem to be recovering after daily picking the bugs off and some organic bug killer!

Our rhubarb is looking great since the day we planted it which you can see here. We have only picked enough for a pie or two because we want the roots to develop really well the first year of transplanting.

Construction on tunnel two has been slow but moving along just the same.

By the end of the weekend it was ready for the end walls to be sheeted, next step will be the plastic!
Zack and Emmy are removing soil and rocks from around this boulder we dug up with the tractor in order to plant some nice perennials around it. In the background you can see the newly set out Swallow/Bluebird houses.

We also spent A LOT of time in this patch of earth planting dry beans! Jacobs Cattle and Yellow eye, four rows of each, seed by seed!! Thankfully they are all in now and we will patiently wait for them to sprout out of the ground.

The last photo is of our resident flock of Canada Geese. There are several families with babies that come every evening to munch on the grass in the field. So far no damage to the veggies, we are hoping it stays that way!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why Grand View?

Guessing our ancestors had a much better "Grand View" when they named this farm than we do now. There are so many trees that have grown up since then, but it's still pretty beautiful! Especially with a nice sunset for a backdrop!

Here is our view of Mt. Washington:

Moat Mt.

Mt. Kearsarge
Carter Notch

Here is another of Mt. Washington all covered in snow behind the bee hives.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

This Weeks Update - 6/4/2011

It was another busy weekend!
During the week we were able to get this batch of winter squash and pumpkins planted in the tilled space between the two tunnels. The tunnels were going to be closer together with just a path of sod between them but we ended up moving tunnel 2 further away so that it would be more level. We then had a large area of tilled soil we decided to make use of.

The first big project this weekend was to build the end walls on tunnel 1. Here you can see the first side is almost done, except for the doors.

We seeded our first little plot of carrots! We are hoping to plant these every other week until late summer to be able to harvest fresh carrots into the winter and early spring!

A hot dog BBQ after a hard day's work!

By Sunday night both end walls were done and we were ready for plastic!

Some more tricky high bean balancing was in-store for the brave soles unrolling the plastic!

Once the first layer of plastic was unrolled the second was prepared.

On goes the second layer.

Meanwhile, the small plot next to tunnel 1 was being prepped for planting.

We had already started a long row of onions here during the week.
The row of onions were finished and in the next row went the summer squash and zucchini.

Once both rolls of plastic were rolled across the top it was time to spread them out! One side and then the other the plastic was laid out over the sides. It was all done with almost no sign of wind, thankfully!!
By the time the plastic was all laid out this little farmer had enough!!
Then it was time to button up the hatches. Strips of strapping were screwed to the front of the wood in order to keep the plastic in place. Also, a small blower fan was placed inside to inflate the space between the two sheets of plastic as a heat barrier.

A job well done and a beautiful sunset too!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The High Tunnel Has a Roof... sort of?

Had our first weather scare the other day when high winds and hail were predicted for our area. Since the high tunnels had not be out fitted with their plastic covering yet we had to improvise in order to protect our valuable little tomato seedling!

This was the scene as we began to unfold this GIANT blue tarp on loan to us from SOLO wilderness medical school.

It seemed to go pretty smoothly at first...
...but took some manuvering to keep it from catching on the bolts at the top.
Do you remember the game of parachute as a kid?? This is exactly what it was like holding on to the corners as the wind would gust and then die down again!
The tarp was secured with ropes and left to face the elements, thankfully we had little more than wind come our way!
Praise God all is safe!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Our Big Weekend Day Three

Our little tomato seedlings were given their one and only car ride early Monday morning from the seed house to their new home! We filled the back of Donna's car with 80 or so plants!!

The next step was to plot out the beds in the tunnel. We used Elliot Colemans method of 30 inch beds and 12 inch walkways.

We also added compost and peat moss to the soil. Her the girls are having a very DIRTY time mixing the peat and the compost in the wheel barrows and then transporting it by the bucket load to the beds.

Once the beds were complete the tomatoes went in!

Our first crop in the high tunnel! It is so exciting to see it all coming together!!