Sunday, August 03, 2008

Rebuilding year on Smallest Farm

Rebuilding Year on Smallest Farm

As I roll into August I'm coming to realize that it's a rebuilding year on The Smallest Farm. I've forgotten a few tricks in the six years since I've had a real garden. So I'm having some successes, some incomplete successes, and a few outright failures.

The sunflowers have done well. Some were wabbitized, but the ones that grew grew well.

Some of my more elaborate plans, like canning and pickling, have been abandoned (though I did put together a batch of refrigerator pickles). Too much to try to do in a year divisible by four.

I'm getting some tomatoes, but not the bucketloads I expected. Made the first homemade salsa yesterday with mostly cherry tomatoes. Something blighty got some of the plants, and my hot peppers are a bit stunted. I think there may be a walnut issue. Nothing to do about that but move it next year and plant something walnut-friendly like beans there.

The experiment with single-stem tomatoes is too soon to tell. I have blossoms but not much fruit.

The corn is a mixed success. Last week we picked our first, and I employed child labor in the shucking process. Flavor was good but size was a little small. And one batch was mysteriously knocked over.

Eggplant is a major success thanks to the catnip.

I've only harvested the long Ichiban variety so far, but the classic variety is also producing.

Beans are a partial success. Some of the vines grew well but a few got wabbit-nibbled. The fence keeps the big wabbits out but the adolescent wabbits sneak in. For next year: add tight meshed chicken wire to the fence. There's still a lot of season left so I may get the bushel-loads of beans yet. I also used too tight a type of netting, so I have to cut some holes sometimes to get at beans.

The pumpkins, indeed all of the squash family, are successful to the too much of a good thing level. I made the rookie mistake of planting too much and I'm overwhelmed with zucchini and spaghetti squash -- and I only planted ONE spaghetti squash. I'll remember next year to plant only ONE giant pumpkin vine not two.

Watermelon was a failure -- the squash family grew faster and overran it. But the salad square plan -- plant a square a week, put a zucchini in the middle, then by the time the zook grows the salad is eaten -- more or less worked.

The weed crop is overtaking most of the rest, though the mulching has helped.

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