Now Homer has all 40 rain barrels lined up..and it is raining. One inch of rain will fill all 40 with a total of 2,000 gallons..that will then be gravity fed to the beds. 40 barrels, 40 bays on the greenhouse, 40 growing beds.
Notice the valves at the bottom of each rain barrel..soon there will be drip tape to the growing beds from there. and the orange and silver object at the end of the greenhouse? the Row Toe Tiller Homer designed and built this year, pictures to come..
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
we were told we would need drip tape, pumps, an irrigation pond. Instead Homer covered the greenhouse, bought drink concentrate barrels, tapped them, installed gutters, punched holes at each of the barrel sites..Adam helped get the taps into the bottom of the barrels and here we are, no power for regular use of rain water. Our tomato plants are still seedlings under grow lights in the basement, Homer is building the infrastructure by digging holes, putting in compost, rigging up water system so we are ready when the seedlings move outdoors.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Tonight it is expected to be 30 degrees here. An opportunity to lose all that we have started. Homer has used the interior of the greenhouse for storage of a number of items: buckets that we use to collect turned produce from Steve at Planet Produce, rain barrels that Darin and Ashley at Herring Run Watershed encouraged us to use, and the item we will use tonight: row crop covers! On 1,000 foot rolls tthe crop covers weigh next to nothing and we have no idea how it works..but the seedlings stay alive and above freezing under there. The other roll is paper. We use that to put over the beds the pigs have rooted, water the paper down and than add 2-3" of compost on top. And then in go our seeds, and are they happy!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
He has been digging holes inside the greenhouse. After removing all of the poultry from the greenhouse it is time to grow in there! Each hole will house a tomato plant that will grow through the house gets really cold at night..we think we might still have fresh, dirt grown tomatoes at Thanksgiving. Along with spinach, carrots, and potatoes from the farm..and pumpkin for pie..yum..
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Today the sun is out, the air is mild and the ground is getting muddy. It is scheduled to be sunny for the next 5 days at minimum, and is resulting in a bee hive of activity here! Homer has set up in the basement of the house a seedling growing station. Plenty of grow lights and heating pads make for a warm and light filled spot for our tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. We are growing a variety of tomatoes this year: beefsteak, cherry and paste..4-5 named varieties of each. It is tough to have too many tomatoes, as we love to can, dry and eat fresh for as long as possible. Adam is here helping Homer get the greenhouse ready for the same plantings out there, then we will see the best spot for starting.
We decided it was important to clearly identify each variety we are growing. Homer picked up a bunch of 2x4's at the store, all were in the discard bin and cost close to nothing. He ripped them down to square, cut a pointed end and then painted them. We will add the names of everything we are growing so the they can be clearly marked and easily moved. It did not occur to me that a plant marker could be a work of beauty, but this certainly is!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Had wonderful farm visits this week! Tuesday Katie Maunz visited..a sunny, beautiful day! She helped repair the stockade fence, move the pig pen, cover the 40 yards of compost, and stack the feed delivery in the new feed bin Homer constructed. Such a sweetheart, lovely to have her visit.
And from my running in Rockville days, Charles Angelo, Nancy Jo Snyder and Charles' older brother Lou Angelo visited on Friday. Chilly, rainy and windy they braved the long walk to the greenhouse, moved chickens, pigs, collected eggs, dumped slop, fed bread..and then we had a wonderful lunch of just gathered eggs, along with onions, mushrooms, spinach and cheese. Homer here just in time for a bread delivery. Lots of stories and laughter with this crowd, how I love spending time with them, what a joy! Future party plans were discussed..in better weather we hope!
Today is final tax paperwork for me. Homer is building the basement plant starting spot: we now have heating pads for under and grow lights for over the seed starting area. We will start some seeds (tomato, cucumber, pepper) here in the house and start the same in the unheated greenhouse under row covers and see which do better. And if all grow we will have lots of plants to get going!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Warm enough for the chickens to exit the greenhouse and get back on grass! The birds have done an amazing job clearing out every blade of green stuff that was growing under cover. Homer tore up the space, getting rid of all the green stuff, and the hens finished off every little thing. Including things we are growing on purpose when we forgot to put the covers back on the planting beds. Grass is peeking through everywhere on our 13 acres and before we know it we will need lawn mowers..cows in our world! Thinking about getting unwanted Jersey bull calves from Keswick Creamery, a local grass fed dairy who has plenty of bulls!