This is What the End of the Season Looks Like …

This it what it looks like on a vegetable farm hours before the first forecasted freeze:DSC_0400[1]

We picked a few tomatoes.

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Oh, and here’s a few more …

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And oh look!  There are some over here …

 

You get the idea.  🙂  Tomatoes anyone?

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Summertime Vegetables in full-swing

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Once the summer really gets underway, I find that I have very little time to blog – primarily because vegetables are taking up a lot of time.

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes!  The heirlooms have finally arrived!  Black Krims Cherokee Purples, Brandywines, Mortgage Lifters, Amana Oranges, and more are now available.  Can’t wait to share these with people at farmers market in the morning!

We also still have cucumbers and a few summer squash.  Winter squash (butternut and spaghetti) will be available soon.  Our okra is sloooooow this summer.  And the deer like the okra plants.  A lot.  Don’t hold your breath for the okra.

But tomatoes … boy, do we have tomatoes.  🙂

(Thanks to the Ark City Traveler for taking this great photo of our veggies!)

 

Vegetable time almost here!

Vegetable time is almost here!  We have picked the first few tomatoes from the high tunnel, including this beauty, here.  Probably won’t be enough for farmers market tomorrow, but hopefully by next week, we will have enough to share.

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It took great restraint to not gobble this up on the spot.

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We will have a few summer squash at market, though – tiny, sweet pattypans.

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Zucchini almost ready to pick

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Gage says there are a few cucumbers ready, too, but I am skeptical.  You almost have to squint to see them here.

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Another tomato, blushing on the vine, almost ready to pick!  Get ready!

Tomato triage

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We have already had our first tomato crisis of the year.  A few days after planting our high tunnel tomatoes, nearly two-thirds of them were dead.  I came to discover that roly poly’s … that’s right, those cute little bugs your kids love to play with … were to blame.

With nothing else around the to eat, they were chewing through the stems of every tomato plant they could find.  And we had HUNDREDS of roly polys.

Not good.

We replaced the dead plants and when planting our new ones, we put cans or buckets around them to hopefully make a barrier and keep the little suckers out.  I think I’ve heard of other people doing this.  Hope it works.

Oh, and we are heavily using diatomaceous earth around the plants , which roly polys hate.  That seems to be working so far.

Last weekend we discovered that even the plants that lived had been damaged.  We are trying to save them by adding cuffs around those plants and building up the soil inside.

First tomato crisis of the season.  Probably won’t be the last.

Planting Time

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We had planned to plant our high tunnel tomatoes this past weekend, but with the forecast for Sunday night a measly 23 degrees, we decided it was too risky.  (And it did indeed get down to 23 last night.)

So tonight was the night.  We got three of the four rows planted …. Whew!  That was some quick planting!

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Okay, so it looks darker in this picture than it really was, but we were out there at sunset.

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We got the black mulch down on Saturday, and our jugs filled with water, so we were just all ready to plant.  Now, just pray for warm nights!!

Coming Along Nicely

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Our little seedlings … well they’re looking more like PLANTS than seedlings … are loving life in their warm little seed box – in front of the wood stove – in our living room.

I still have a small glimmer of hope that we might be able to plant in the high tunnel next weekend, but we’ve got quite a bit of warming up to do before then.  Boy that’s going to be a shock to those little seedlings!  We better do a little bit of hardening off before then.

In the meantime, jelly making is on the docket for this weekend.  Gotta use up all of the berries in the freezer before spring!  And the tomatoes, too.  I have a sneaking suspicion that all of those frozen tomatoes will be perfect for tomato jam.  Stay tuned …