Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Garden Planting

Hello there,
Today we went out to the garden and planted the corn patch.  Dad, Jonathan, Andrew and David and I worked together and we seeded about a dozen rows of "Peaches and Cream" sweet corn.  Peaches and cream refers to the mixed colors of the kernels on the cob, some white and some yellow.  If the patch yields well, which we pray it will do, we should get a bountiful harvest and have enough to sell some.  A number of customers have ordered a few dozen ears, so we will need to at least fill those orders when it is ripe.  I hope that it won't all ripen on exactly the same day, since it gets tricky to handle all that volume!  I also planted zucchini plants on the ends of each row and a number of sugar and field pumpkins in the rows.  A map was sketched with the locations of the different seeds for future reference.
This winter I began reading Steve Solomon's book called "Gardening When It Counts" and found it very motivating for me to do a better job with our family's garden.  I highly recommend the book.  His approach is very simple, rather old-fashioned, but reliable (only tools needed are a spade, wheelbarrow, rake, and hoe).
A few weeks ago I planted the beginnings of the lettuce patch and a few rows of chitted peas.  Chitting is pre-germinating the seeds before planting to make them immune to drying out.  Here's a picture of the peas before I planted them:
We also chitted the corn seed before planting it today.  The sprouts should get to be about the same length as the seed before planting.  That way they don't break off as you handle them and the seed can easily wick moisture from the soil around it.  To me, handling seed that has been chitted is like holding a baby chick.  It feels alive and precious. 
The picture above is the peas planted beside the garlic, with the short rows of lettuce in the background.  The peas were planted on two sides of the patch so that the pea fences serve a double purpose; a trellis for the peas and a fence to keep chickens out of the salad garden.
That's what I've been up to!
How about you?

Pigs out to pasture

Hello everyone,
On Monday we set up the electric pig pasture and moved them out to munch on fluffed up turf and roots.  It's amazing what a pig can accomplish with it's snout.  If the ground is soft from the rain, the pigs can plow their nose under the sod and flip it over in no time.  Once the pigs have rooted up a plot of ground, we will broadcast some non-GMO alfalfa seed over the area and rake it in.  Eventually the area will become a lush stand of forage for the cows or pigs or other animals to graze.  Isn't it neat how animals can work together to improve the land?  We give the glory to God since He authored this design (more here).
Dig pig, dig!
Enjoy your day,