Saturday, July 23, 2011

More Veggie Updates 7/23/11

Our outside veggies are growing nicely and some are loving this heat wave we've had the past few days more than others. The broccoli was planted later than hoped for and is just starting to produce heads. It is doing well considering it is a cool weather crop and has some cabbage looper issues.

Here you can see some cabbage looper damage. The little green worms love the brassica family (broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower) of plants and eat the leaves. Once full, they form a cocoon and turn into a little white moth who then lays lots of eggs on the plants and the cycle starts again. We have been picking these off by hand but have not been able to keep up!

We harvested lots of peas on Saturday! Snap peas and shell peas. They have been enjoyed by all and are loved by the kids who pluck them off the vine and eat them raw for a garden snack!

The pumpkins are loaded with blossoms and bees and some nice fruits are forming.

Green peppers are coming along nicely! There are not a lot right now but they are loaded with buds and the plants look really nice.

Our eggplants are blossoming and are starting to form tiny veggies. Unfortunately we also noticed the were seriounsly infested with aphids. We hope to control them before loosing the plants.

We also harvested LOTS of green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, and summer squash on Saturday. It was a full day of harvesting! We will be canning beans this week and enjoying all sorts of fresh ones at meals!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Inspection Day 7/20/11

Today was inspection day, two representatives from NRCS came to inspect the high tunnels and sign the necessary paperwork so our grant can be completed.

We are all so happy to move on from the "rush" of needing to have them completed! Now let the harvesting begin!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tunnel #1 Update 7/16/11

We are all so thrilled to see our veggies GROWING bigger and bigger each day! Check out these green tomatoes! We can't wait to sink our teeth into these!!

The cherry tomatoes are doing really well also. There are even some starting to turn orange.

We just started to pick cucumbers. If we are not diligent about snipping off runners it is like a real jungle in there!

The leaves are huge!!

This is the very first vine to reach the top bar! We will now train it to come back down over the bar and let one of the runners go so it will now have two vines.
Outside tunnel #1 is looking really great with the addition of these doors that let the sun shine through in the morning!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

This Weeks Update 7/12/11

Our diligent
construction crew has been working hard on doors this week. As you can see the back door on tunnel #1 is now done!

Here you can see our small crop of alfalfa going in. We will be using this for a cover crop/green manure.
The veggies in the field are getting close to harvest time! Here are beans with lots of blossoms, cabbage and broccoli.

Peas loaded with blossoms!

And our first few pods coming in to!

Here you can see our field peas coming in nicley and our rows of corn growing slowly but surely!

In tunnel #1 we are about to harvest the first batch of gherkin cukes! This is the first time any of us have grown them and we are looking forward to trying these little fuzzy cukes in a pickle recipe soon!

And lastly this week was our first harvest of beet greens! Yum!!

Honey Bee Update

Our hives are doing amazingly well here at Grandview Farm! These were taken on a really warm day last weekend and you can only see a small portion of the activity going on here. There were hundreds of bees flying to and from the hives all day!
All the hives except one needed more space so we added a deep super for the queen to lay more brood. The hives have all had honey supers added to them also. We hope this will keep them busy. The closest hive in this photo is even working on a comb honey super since they are so prolific. Comb honey is not usually produced in a hives first year.

Since it was so warm some of the bees did not want to be inside the crowded and hot hive. These girls are hanging out in the shade of the hive (maybe avoiding work??).

Here is a snapshot of a comb honey frame dripping with honey! The entire 9 frames were drawn out with wax and filled with honey in only 2 weeks! We even got a little taste before replacing the frame so the bees can go to work capping it over.

Friday, July 8, 2011

4th of July Weekend Update

This was a big weekend for high tunnel #2! The end walls were finished and on went the plastic.

By late in the evening we were ready to attach the long pipe used for rolling up the sides.

In the fields we have some little veggies emerging everywhere! This is a baby pumpkin.

Summer Squash coming along nicely!

The tomatoes in tunnel #1 are looking great, we can't wait to bite into one!!
We finally got our corn planted this past week, it was just popping through in this photo. Not knee high by the 4th of July!
This pumpkin plant is doing amazingly well compared to this photo taken a month or so ago. The difference is amazing, we lost some plants due to the cucumber beetle but the ones that made it look great!! We filled in the holes with babies and they also are doing well.
Here is a birds eye view from the scaffolding at the back of tunnel #1, a nice look at some of our outside veggies.
And from the other side of the tunnel you can see the pumpkin/squash patch growing well.
The scaffolding was in place so we could secure the plastic to the end. Here is Jason trimming the plastic after the wood was screwed on.
By Monday night (the 4th) we were ready for a little party! BBQ, salads, chips and more! You can see the tunnels in the background looking nice and trim!

Enjoying the food and fellowship!

Next was the fireworks pre-show!
The day time fireworks were a treat for us all but especially the kids... shot little parachutes everywhere! The kids had a blast trying to catch them as they fell from the sky! The real fireworks came later, our own private show! Thanks to Mark, Jason, and Zack for putting it on.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Nana's Rhubarb Pie and Rhubarb Tips

Our first recipe made with our own produce was this rhubarb pie (scroll all the way down for the recipe). After transplanting this patch of rhubarb back in the early spring (see this post) we thought we would have to wait a year before harvesting any. We thought wrong! We have picked close to 10lbs. of rhubarb already and it is still coming! We have some different opinions about what to do with it though... some want to eat it! Some want to freeze it and store it away for the winter when it will be a welcomed reminder of spring.
The 7.5lbs picked this past week went into the pie above and the freezer so all would be happy.

As you can see from the photo below taken yesterday the rhubarb is still coming along nicely! If your patch does not look quite so nice there are some things you can do.

Tips for Great Rhubarb:
1. Rhubarb loves organic matter so be sure to load on the manure each season.
2. When you see flower stalks shooting up, pull them out right away before they blossom. This is a sign that your plants need to be divided. It is best to divide plants during the spring or fall when the plant is dormant.
3. Rhubarb likes fertile well drained soil with a PH of 5-6.8 and little to no weeds.
4. Rhubarb does like a little shade, ours is pretty much in sun all day except the evening when the end wall casts a shadow. It does not tollerate very hot and dry areas.
5. Don't forget to water! Lot's of water and some fertilizer will keep your plants going strong into the summer.
For more details on growing rhubarb click here.
Nana's Rhubarb Pie

1 batch of pie dough for a double crust pie
1c. sugar
2T. flour
a dash of nutmeg
1 egg
6-8 cups chopped rhubarb

Roll out bottom crust and fit it into your pie plate. Combine all filling ingredients and pour over the bottom crust. Top with second crust and seal by pinching tightly around the edge.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.