Sunday, May 09, 2010

Slow on Smallest Farm

Slow Start on Smallest Farm

The Smallest Farm in Iowa is off to a slow start so far, as the weather has soaked the soil as soon as it dries out. Could be worse; I could be trying to farm on Mars. "A frost warning has been issued for... well, the entire planet, for tonight through... uh, forever I guess."

One thing I have managed to grow:

Mr. Hoot HootObviously, the plastic fake owl and my loud choruses of "What's Opera Doc" are ineffective means of pest control. These wittle wascals were born literally in the middle of the garden, just inches from my spinach and lettuce. Hope they tell me how it tastes. The lower level of the fence has been reinforced with chicken wire, but I've seen mom hop over it.

What am I gonna do about it? Well, nothing; my need for salad has been overruled by teh cutes.

Mr. Snake has also been seen in the garden, but he doesn't like getting his picture taken. Here's hoping the baby bunnies are faster than he is.

Slow start
Fortunately, last night's near frost didn't harm my warmer-weather plants as they're still in the seed starters. Managed to grow some of my peppers from saved seed and a couple kinds of tomatoes from seed too. But some of my early starts died so I had to get the plants last weekend.

Also in the shot is the $8 rain barrel. No tap on the bottom so I have to siphon the water out, but it works and the price was right (I've seen "good" rainbarrels for $100.) And, of course, it's full these days.


Another bargain was the composter, which I got free,


One person's weed is another person's pretty volunteer.

As you're seeing, I've gotten more prep work than planting done. My crowning achievement:

Bean Fence

The bean fence. Last year the beand grew over the top of a seven foot fence and dragged the whole thing down. So this year I got PVC pipe, reinforced it with the old stakes, and took it up to 8 1/2 feet by 40 feet long. That's in the south garden this year, whhere it'll share space with the corn and pumpkins.

For those of you tuning in I have, depending on how you count, five garden spaces in my football-field sized lot. Two of those are properly, if inadequately, fenced.


This pea is growing in what I call the "north garden."


This is some sort of crossbred squash that emerged from last year's compost heap. Just like last year, I'm going to let it grow and see what happens; last year I got green-gold football sized mutants that looked like a cross between pumpkins and spaghetti squash that the boys named "squashkins."

Not pictured: the "pepper garden," a tiny patch near the house that I use to keep the hot peppers away from the sweet peppers.


Volunteers of America... This is from what I call "the catnip garden" or "Spot's garden" (since I laid my old friend to rest there amongst her favorite herb.) Scattered other herbs are growing there, deliberately or inadvertently. But mostly it's catnip...


...and apparantly it's high-grade, duuuude.

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