Friday, April 27, 2012

Farmers' Market, Garden, and Chickens...Oh My!

About time for an update on things, I'd say!  First off, I completed training to be certified to sell at the Mount Vernon Farmers' Market!

The Farmers' Market here in town begins outside on the square May 5th this year.  They have had an indoor market going on throughout the winter also.  I will not make my appearance until Saturday May 19th.  For the first couple of months, I will have only perennial starts.  This will include pink and white honeysuckle, a couple of different hostas, yellow trumpet vine, white or pink rose of sharon, an outdoor bamboo, and also possibly lily of the valley and maybe some lettuce plants both leaf and butter head.  Once I begin getting some vegetable yield I will bring those things also!  Let me know here if you're interested in any of the plants I have so far and I'll let you know what the prices will be.  I will do another blog on my first day experience selling at the market.  I hope eventually to make gardening/farming a full time job. 

Next up is my garden update!  So far my dad has had to do the majority of planting because I injured my back at work.  But here is what has been planted so far.  Tomatoes, potatoes, peas, carrots, onions, beets, radishes, giant chard, rainbow chard, collard greens, kale, turnips and a early corn variety.  So far, the sprouts I have up are onions, peas, and tomatoes.  The others will sprout quickly if we get a few warm days!  Here are the onions I just checked on this morning.

Now for the chickens!  I will be ordering 12 baby chicks today.  All hens.  I've decided not to get a rooster at this time.  They can unexpectedly turn very aggressive on the owner and one of the only ways to deal with it, is to cull (kill) it.  Since I'm a vegetarian and I'm only getting the chickens for the eggs I do not want to do that.  So, for now (until I figure an alternative to dealing with this) I will not be getting a rooster.  The types of hens I'll get are Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington, Welsummer, and Delaware.  The chicken coop is all ready to paint, I am just waiting on a day warm enough to do this.  Once its all ready I will write a blog on all of the repairs that were made and a few photos of it along the way!  The chicks won't be here until June 18th so I've got plenty of time.  I am looking forward to everything this summer has to offer!  All of the vegetables, the chickens and the farmers' market!  I will keep blogging and updating along the way.  Thanks again in advance for reading!  

Saturday, April 14, 2012

April 2012 Garden Update

In the photo above I planted tomato seeds outside.  Last year my dad planted seeds this way and the seedlings were much stronger than the seedlings I had started inside.  We also had a larger survival rate of the plants.  This year we started 200 tomato seeds of about 6 varieties.  San Marzano, Granadero, Roma, Cherry, Delicious, and Supersteak.  The sprouts will not emerge for quite awhile since the temperatures are still cold.  When the plants are large enough we will plant them into rows.

The next photo down are the sugar snap pea sprouts!  Soon we will need to fence in around them to keep rabbits, groundhogs, and deer from eating them.  This was the first planting of peas.  I have since planted a second and longer row of them.  They haven't sprouted just yet.

The third photo down is lettuce that has sprouted all on its own from last year's seed.  Once the lettuce became bitter tasting last year we let it continue to grow, until it seeded.  When the seeds appeared we used a push mower to mow over all of it.  This spread the seeds.  This year there must be a hundred lettuce plants scattered throughout the bottom garden.  FREE lettuce!

This last photo is of a rototiller we just got for the tractor.  We haven't used it just yet, because its been too wet.  I will write more on how it worked when we do.

CHICKEN COOP UPDATE:   I am saving all of the photos I'm taking of the chicken coop as we make progress on it for an upcoming blog.  As of now, its on a trailer with tires so its mobile.