Friday, November 2, 2012

November is here!

NOVEMBER IS HERE

November is here and the first few  killing frosts are here!  I have been pulling up tomato stakes and getting the garden beds cleaned up for the winter.  Time to lay on the mulch and secure the covering over the fall planted spinach and lettuce.  And yes, it is even time to plant a few more radishes and lettuces.  In our climate, especially this year, we can enjoy fresh, nutrient dense vegetables fresh from our own garden just minutes after harvest.  For most of the winter and for most vegetables that grow in the winter a covering of sheet plastic is all that is required to be able to harvest something fresh every day to add to your meals. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Compost Recipe

Winter- Compost making time!

Turnips are up!  Mustard is really producing!  Spinach is coming on!  Now it's time to clean up all the summer gardening mess.  The hard frost has killed the last of the hot weather vegetables and the leaves are coming off the trees.  So now it's time to clean up and compost as much as possible to add to the garden in the spring.  Organic matter, and minerals, are  always necessary for  healthy soils that grow great tasting, and healthy vegetables.   Here is a "Recipe" for making a great compost.


COMPOST
200 POUNDS MANURE
200 POUNDS SAWDUST AND/OR LEAVES AND YARD WASTE
2 POUNDS ROCK PHOSPHATE
2 POUNDS HIGH CALCIUM  LIME
1 QUART BLACK STRAP MOLASSES
1 PINT FISH EMULSION
1/2 POUND BEET OR CITRUS PULP
1 POUND BLOOD MEAL

MIX AND STACK HIGH. TURN EVERY 7-10 DAYS THROUGH THE WINTER

Monday, October 29, 2012

WHY HAVE WE CHOSEN THIS LIFE?

     I began thinking about this question recently while reading the SHEEP magazine put out by the HOBBY FARM people.   Many of the articles in one way or another addressed this question.   And so I began thinking "WHY DO I FARM"  or rather try to farm.  I've been trying to farm since 1993.  I was new to Tennessee and new to land ownership.    My goals have always been to raise enough for our family.  Enough chicken, eggs, vegetables, beef, etc. for our family which has grown to 8 people.  Often over 19 years I have had an abundance of- something.  Just as often I have worked very hard for many weeks to harvest nothing or too little.  So why do I farm?  Why do I enthusiastically, pour over seed catalogs from December to March.  Then dig, haul manure, lime, compost and weed.  Fight pestilence, flood, drought, scheduling difficulty and fencing woes? 
     I have asked myself that question so many times, and the only answer I come up with is I love it!  I love digging in the dirt.  I love the smell of well composted waste.  It smells like potential to me.  I can imagine as I turn it into my garden beds, lovely ripe tomatoes and magnificent just right summer squash.  I love the quacking of my ducks in the morning as they head for the pond.  I love the feel of the soft angora wool in my fingers as I pet and pluck my rabbits for their wool to add to my yarn.  I love the rhythm of milking my cow and the taste of farm fresh milk.  My hens give the best tasting eggs!  I love the quiet mornings, the peaceful evenings, and the lack of  city noise.  So, for me a better question would have to be- "Why would I EVER want to do anything else"!