Wednesday, July 29, 2015

slowly...

The tomatoes are ripening! Slowly.

We grow heirloom varieties, open pollinated, indeterminate tomatoes. They grow and grow, and produce tomatoes over a number of weeks.

This year most of our plants are either Roma or San Marzano. We add wheelbarrows of compost to the soil, as we have for the last 6 years. This year we really notice the difference in the planting beds. The depth and quality of the soil is greatly improved.

We use drip tape and wire cages, as tomatoes require water and support.

There are many issues that can prevent a tomato harvest. We have managed to harvest tons of tomatoes without using chemicals. We do water the plants, and we make certain that compost is in abundance.

Some of them will go right in the freezer. Whole and with seeds to be used in soups and stews that are cooked all day. Or seeded and skinned and then canned, in glass jars for use all winter. Or sliced thin and dehydrated.

Last fall we didn't really put many tomatoes up. We had to purchase them in metal cans at the grocery store. And they just don't taste good.

We are waiting and watching for ripe ones. All our gear is here and ready, and we have vowed to have tomatoes until next August in our larder!






Bulk orders will be available if you decide you need to save tomatoes for winter time meals, check our website www.sunnysidefarmpa.com to reserve as many pounds as you like.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

summer cooling, winter warming

We grow chamomile. It looks like a daisy, but has a lovely flavor.


As flowers open, we cut and tie the entire stalk and flower into bunches.


Before cutting.


We use it fresh right into cold water. The infusion is delicious.

In the winter, after it has dried, we add it to hot water for a flavorful tea.

It grows back after the heavy trim. We will do exactly the same thing again.

We start them from seed. Chamomile can be invasive, so we are careful to not let it go to seed and to keep roots contained.



Saturday, June 20, 2015

keep seeding

We grow and nurture a variety of living things on our farm. Beef, pork, chicken, Thanksgiving turkey, vegetables, berries, fruit, dogs...us.

One thing we have learned. We grow almost everything from seed. Trees and shrubs are live plants, asparagus arrives as roots: but most of what we grow starts as a seed.

I got some lily bulbs to grow for flower bouquets. Then planted them in tubs with flower seeds all around. It's a simple spray watering system around them.

Results are mixed. Same treatment, different flowers, but we have learned to hold some seeds back and try again. Here's why.


Lily up, and 3 seedlings


Barely a lily, and tons of seedlings.


Just the lily.


Nothing.

Replanting today!
L

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