Farm Report, Vol 1

Farm Report July 2013

I am so proud to be writing our first farm report, even if there is not much to report!  The satisfaction of caring for our own land has been incredibly satisfying for us, even if much of theeffort so far this year has been spent on finding, getting funding for, and moving into the perfect spot.  Along with raising our little farmhand, our hands have been full without even getting (much) dirt under our fingernails.

Any farm purists out there (does such a thing even exist?) might suggest that our unused lawn, landscaping, and raised beds a “farm” is hardly a farm.  Please just squint and see what it will be many years down the road after our dreams materialize through early mornings, long weekends, and busy summers.

 

What we are munching on:

We were lucky to have inherited very mature berry bushes (and not just the invasive blackberry).  Raspberries are a favorite with farmhands big and small right now, and blueberries are impending if we can beat the birds to them.

And now on to the tasty food that we are actually responsible for planting!  During our big nursery visit, I picked out kale and Miles picked out sweet peas.  Those are both coming along nicely, with the lacinato kale consistently producing delicious leaves and stalks for cooking and the peas providing a tasty snack while the kale is being harvested.  We are both congratulating ourselves on excellent choices!

What we are drooling over:

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes!  The little farmhand and I go to inspect and compliment our plants every day.  I am not sure whether to credit the early arrival of summer or the full day of sun enjoyed by my new tomato beds, but these are by far the nicest tomato plants I have ever had. Tomatoes to be Our usual Pacific Northwest climate usually produces some decent looking plants with abundant fruits that just never turn red.  Maybe this year will be the one!

In non-tomato news, the zucchini is flowering, the beans and corn are growing (though the seeds are not germinating as well as I had hoped – yet).  Acorn squash plants are gorgeous reminders that my favorite season is right around the corner.

And in the works…

We have so many future plans that I can’t possibly share them all in one post.  In the near term, visions of cabbages and chard are dancing on the fall horizon.  My small bed just off the kitchen will continue to house herbs and lettuce.  The radishes don’t seem to appreciate that bed for some reason – maybe it’s the mulch – but I am going to give them another try since I love them so!

It sure does seem smart to start slow and small, but I am also anxious to put some laying hens to work right away.  Not only would I like to wean us off of the delicious (but incredibly expensive) farm fresh eggs in our area, but having some clucking companions in the garden (not to mention their contributions to the compost effort) would really feel like good progress towards achieving some sort of food production around here.

Since we still have boxes to unpack and the aforementioned farmhand to keep occupied, I don’t want to stretch new projects too far in favor of making sure we get the basics done right.  As it is, the learning curve for said basics seems fairly steep sometimes!

A year from now…

I hope we are living out of our freezer and off of our land!

OK, that might be stretching it a little bit, though I truly believe we could eat eggs and veggies pretty much forever 🙂

Next year, I hope to expand our available gardening beds and shore up the ones we already have.  Soil cultivation is at the top of my list, of course.  Along with the chickens’ efforts to spruce up the soil, we think some worms would be fun to keep – especially for the little farmhand!

Once the task of building the chicken coop is behind us, a pig sty will be the next level of challenge (and then, of course, the pigs!)  We are still in the very early planning stages for this biiiig project, but the hope is that we can raise some of our own pastured pork.  A year from now, we will hopefully have a solid plan to raise our piggies.

My favorite thing to do on the farm right now…

I love the satisfaction of a fully weeded bed, even though (or perhaps especially because) I know they will only come back quickly.  Give me a good farm podcast and some garden gloves and I am good to go!

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