Saturday, June 9, 2012

Celebrating the Outdoors With Farming by Brenda Whiteside

Farming is not for the faint of heart or weak of limb. Although, my son, Lance is the lead in the vegetable garden and does ninety percent of the work, the other ten percent leaves me exhausted at times. My main pursuit is to eliminate the weeds. If you are at all familiar with fertile prairie, you're laughing at me. The big problem is we let them get ahead of us. But then I think they multiply while we sleep. We're going organic so manual labor is the about the only way to take care of the monsters. And if I don't get out of the vegetable garden soon and into the blackberry garden, we won't be able to see the blackberries to pick them! This is the weak of limb part.

Blankets protect our babies
Pepper plants in the foreground
The weeds came back with the blackberries
Weeding the blackberries in March
The faint of heart part comes in when our little babies die or get eaten alive by bugs. Like I mentioned in prior blogs, the weather took out tomato plants and rendered our peach and apricots fruitless, the bugs destroyed some leafy greens. We got a scare with the potatoes - again the weather. The night that happened, we realized that whatever the reported low will be for Paulden will actually be about seven degrees colder here. The tops of the potatoes were black. I took little manicure scissors and cut off all the black areas. We then mulched and covered all the plants with the blankets. They seem to be responding.

Frank has worked hard on the lawn
The blankets are the best thing ever! If only we'd known about them earlier. Lance visited a large successful farm in Chino Valley. His friend is the owner's daughter and she encouraged him to 'just go talk to my dad'. He didn't want to intrude but the man was extremely gracious and helpful. So now we cover our babies in blankets which keep out the nasty bugs that devastated our leafy greens. They also help to keep the moisture in and keep down the weeds. We were able to actually save some broccoli and chard that we thought the bugs had destroyed.

Last night we had asparagus, and in our salad we had radishes. Next week we won't need to buy any salad greens or spinach. Our garden is beginning to feed us! Now, if we could only eat the weeds.


Jannine Gallant said...

Wow, Brenda, your place is looking very professional. We always had a big garden when we were kids. There's nothing like the taste of truly fresh produce.

Brenda Whiteside said...

So true, Jannine. We had our first salad last night with nothing but our garden produce. So fun.

Jenny Twist said...

It IS coming along, Sweetie. Well done!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks, Jenny!