Monday, May 30, 2011

May 30, 2011

Norms are averages of the extremes, as the weather saying goes, and so it is that while Northern farmers are receiving too much rain, we have seen too little.  But thank the good Lord we have also been spared so much extreme weather that came with it.  Thursday evening, upon stepping outside, Bryan remarked to the family, “Hey, It is raining.”  And that was remarkable since we ended a dry month with showers that dropped 1.3 inches on our eagerly-waiting vegetable patch.

Peas were priority on the weekend, and we picked this 5-pound shopping bag full.  With the help of our children, we all became pea pod poppers and shelled out 3 quarts.  What we did not eat fresh we blanched and froze for later.  Pea plants look like they haven’t been touched, however, with the volume of pods still filling out, making this harvest look small compared to what’s yet to come.  And we are still getting spinach; after picking peas, Bryan brought in a sizeable bag full.

One of our tomato secrets comes from the Amish – they sprinkle Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) around which act both as fertilizer and natural deterrent to slugs and snails.  About 1 Tbls per plant (4 sq. ft. area) is sufficient.  Many plants respond well to extra trace minerals as they come into flower. 

Sweet corn is shooting up in this warm, humid environment, but is still small enough to cultivate with a Mantis tiller without disturbing its shallow root system.  Once leaves touch, we will use a hoe to hill up each plant, which gives it mores stability and resistance to wind, and which encourages the development of auxiliary roots.  Now is the time to pamper corn, because cells that will become the ear form when the plant is a few inches high.

Tomatoes and peppers are blooming, red raspberries are in season, and the first blueberries are coloring up.  Wishing everyone a happy Memorial Day, also the traditional beginning of meteorological summer – happy growing, y'all!

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Dedicated to the responsible production and preservation of healthy home-grown food to the glory of God. Isaiah 55:10 The rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. Organic, or not? We try to raise vegetables organically, using compost and manure. The addition of chickens to our hobby farm means plenty of organic nitrogen to compost! This site gives credible reference to planting information contained in the Farmer's Almanac (