I’m sorry, I said that I would do a better job of keeping up and I have failed you. 8-8-08! I can’t believe that that was the last time I wrote something. So here we go. Paul went through all of my beds that I had just scatter-seeded basil and separated the plants and replanted them. He planted three more rows of just basil! It will be great in a couple more weeks when we have 30 pounds of it for sale. I couldn’t believe that there were that many starts, 250 or so. Now we have grasshoppers all over the place. Hundreds, maybe thousands of baby grasshoppers that look up at you and move their antennae at you, as if to say “what do you want?” Well, I want you to get off of my plants. Today was the mass exodus of our rooster crop. If you’re just tuning in, we started off the season with fifteen baby chicks, presumably all hens. As our babies grew, eight of the fifteen turned into dudes, and seven of them had to go. Today was their day. Roy came from Jaspar Arkansas to take them off of our hands. So he put on his rooster grabbing gear and went to town. Thank you Roy for reading my mind and coming for the roosters today. Sales of our produce have gone a little static. We are still getting rid of a pound or two of this and that here and there. Our peppers are still ripening, our tomatoes as I might have mentioned are being canned by us, our squash is toast and our basil is just waiting to be sold. I did plant some spaghetti squash seeds and bush bean seeds. They are so far doing well. My ‘Big Max’ pumpkins were devoured by squash beetles, but I think I might have saved one plant. My other pumpkin patch is being swallowed up by the grass right now. I tried mowing it out yesterday, but our lawn mower doesn’t seem to want to cooperate.
The weather here today was so NICE! It rained yesterday, my brain instantly thought it was going to be so humid that you couldn’t breathe today, but it wasn’t. It made me reminiscent of Arcata. Nice and cool and breezy. Ok, I guess Arcata on a hot day, like 70 degrees. It was nice. I’m supposed to be mowing my lawn, but I thought I’d take some time and drop a line or two down for this all 8’s day, and I probably won’t mow my lawn. I put on my tennis shoes and everything, but I guess it was just wishful thinking. Have a good one.
I bet we picked about thirty pounds of tomatoes today! Great, that will make us about 4 quarts of canned tomatoes. Not really, maybe 5. Other exciting news, it rained an inch and a half today, cooling the temperature by 10 degrees and watering our garden so we didn’t have to. It hasn’t rained in these parts for about a month. We were long overdue for some of that action. This evening Paul and Oliver transplanted 109 basil plants from around our tomatoes. I had scatter seeded that area and just let it go. The basil was growing, just not very big. Now that they all have the space they deserve they should thrive and continue making us some money! Thank you for all of your nice comments, for reading this blog and for just being you!
I feel like I need to apologize for my tardiness on these blogs. For you, I’ll try hard to at least write one once a week, in the very least. Thanks for tuning in, lets get those viewing numbers up. Help make the month of August all that it can be.
It was steamy hot mania today in our kitchen. For today Paul and I canned some tomatoes, tomato juice and I made blueberry jam to round out the morning. Pictures to follow on another day. I took them and they are resting conveniently on my camera. The pictures are nice. All of those jars of prepared food. I would like to thank Diane, Paul’s mother for teaching us how to can and preserve food. I feel it is a really useful skill to have in these times of rising costs. Thank you.
Grow basil! For real. Basil is the cash crops of cash crops. I think next year we’re just going to grow rows of lettuce, basil and whatever else we want for our own consumption. It seems like this year we planted a lot of things with the intention to sell them. That’s fine, because we have to pay the bills somehow, we almost have too, so far so good. Getting back to the basil though, we’re getting $7.50/lb right now from the local organic grocery distributor. Plus basil thrives the more you cut it, it just gets leafier and leafier. Batta bing.
Here’s something. I made a pizza the other day and I used our tomatoes for the sauce, with basil, bell peppers, onions, garlic, rosemary and oregano from our garden. It was awesome. I have this really “easy” pizza crust recipe that I’ve used for the last year now. Every time I’ve made it, it’s come out completely different. Every time. BUT! It’s still good. Each pizza I make, I declare to Paul “I think this is the best pizza I’ve ever made!” So I think you should give it a shot. Don’t be afraid of the yeast, because you’ll probably never figure out its mysteries, it will be okay.
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl combine flour, wheat germ and salt. Make a well in the middle and add honey and yeast mixture. Stir well to combine. Cover and set in a warm place to rise for a few minutes.
- Roll dough on a floured pizza pan and poke a few holes in it with a fork.
- Bake in preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until desired crispiness is achieved.
Don’t farm if you’re looking to make some money. Do it to fulfill some sort of civic duty like Paul and I…I jest. Sometimes I feel like we’re getting jerked off over prices of veggies. We’re not though, we are just competing with the super awesome, sunshine all year, factory farming paradise known as California. So businesses don’t want to pay more than a dollar a pound for tomatoes. To each his own. Apparently, I’ve heard this enough, tomatoes are the most widely grown crop, with the highest rate of failure or problems. Believe it! Now, I don’t recall if I had mentioned this previously, but the proprietor of the mexican food establishment in which we frequent used to farm as a kid in Mexico and he told us to pick our tomatoes early, to avoid blight, birds and whatever other “thing” could ruin the fruit. They’ll ripen in the house. And you know what, his trick totally works. Put that one in your pocket, it’s a freebie from Chuy of El Camino Real in Fayetteville Arkansas, South School street! We have all of these tomato plants and we’re growing some nice tomatoes, but it’s really not worth selling them we’re learning. So we’ve canned some, sold some and probably going to can the rest. That’s where the economy comes into play and makes growing tomatoes worth it. That’s why farmers grow fields and fields of tomatoes, because they need three million tons of them to make a thousand bucks. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist. That’s what is so great about this first year for us! Lessons learned. Tomatoes for preserving not for profit!
It is so hard to sit here and write posts every couple of weeks let alone ten to twenty posts a day as some do. So there you go professionals, sitting in the Starbuck’s sipping your caramel macchiato, typing away. It takes a lot and you have what it takes. That being said, I would like to thank those of you for checking in on me even though I don’t write anything for a month at a time. If it wasn’t for you, I probably would have quit doing this a long time ago. That being said, I want to address some issues on the farm. I’ve been reluctant to do so because I don’t want to flaunt our issues, I want to flaunt our successes. But, it’s fodder and it’s something for you to chew on. So our bell peppers, all varieties, are getting these thin white spots across their flesh. What are they? Sunburn. Did you know that bell peppers could get sunburned? Well they can. Not all of them are effected. Just the one’s that are on the top and get western exposure. The remedy is to throw straw on the top of the plants to help shade the fruit. Has it been working? I couldn’t tell you. I haven’t noticed any improvement. Paul said that they even have a mold on the inside of some of the peppers. Now I really don’t have a clue about that, so if there are any experts out there on bell pepper mold let me know.