You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Garden’ category.

IMG_20180321_113646404_HDR

18 lambs and counting…we have one ewe who hasn’t given birth

We try hard to not have our lambs until the weather warms up a bit here in Walla Walla. We don’t really have an enclosed barn for our ewes, just a few open ended horse stalls. And the ewes don’t want to be in a horse stall anyway. They want to be out in the far end of the field when they give birth. And catching ONE ewe right before she gives birth is nigh impossible on our farm. We want them to have as natural an experience as possible, keeping ourselves out of the picture and letting nature lead the way. But that means NOT having babies in January, when there is snow on the ground. Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_20170901_160909288_HDRwatermark

Seriously. This just makes me happy.

It’s January, and my mail box is groaning with the weight of seed catalogs. Normally, I’ve inventoried my seeds by now and have put in an order (Fedco, Johnny’s and Seed Savers Exchange are my go-to seed sources). But this year I’ve been catching up on bookkeeping instead. Oh the joys of owning a small business.

But as I flip through the catalogs, I almost always turn to the pepper pages first. You see, I love peppers. All kinds of peppers. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you already know this. At least 17 of the recipes listed on the recipe tab of this blog contain peppers, NOT including the spice mixes. Was there ever one vegetable that was so versatile to the homestead? That has SO many uses, not to mention being a nutritional powerhouse (hello vitamin A, C, B6, E and Folate? My top two things to grow are tomatoes and peppers, but if I had to pick only one, it would be peppers. Read the rest of this entry »

The gangs all here

From left to right, Butters, Kirby and Malcolm, in a moment of harmony.

Last week, our cat Malcolm didn’t show up to come in for breakfast. He had been a bit whiny for the last few days. I couldn’t remember when I had last seen him the day before (the cats have a cat door so they can let themselves out – but not back in, after one too many live mice in the house incidents). I called for him and searched the yard, but almost immediately suspected he was gone. He’s spent most of his time in the past almost 7 years either eating, sleeping near me or sitting in my lap. He was always the first one to came in for breakfast, if he even went out at all. Read the rest of this entry »

OrganicFertilizers_edited-1Years ago (in 1996 to be exact), I took a soil science class at Colorado State University. It was fascinating. The physical make up of soils (sand, silt and clay), the chemical make up of those same particles, and plant nutrition fit right into my nerdy chemistry loving brain. Of course, we did all kinds of fertilizer calculations, all of which I have completely forgotten how to do 20+ years later. And unfortunately, we spent all of about one day out of the semester talking about the micro-organisms that live in soil. If you are an organic gardener/farmer, giving so little attention to this critical ecosystem, which is literally the driver of the entire nutrient cycle, is just sad (not to mention short sighted). Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_20170404_092104845_HDRwatermark

Min/Max thermometer. It’s worth having one of these (and not a digital one either – they don’t last very long). Blue liquid gets pushed up by the mercury (which is in a U shape). Left shows nightly low. Right shows daily high. Reset using a magnet. Last night? A chilly 25.

Spring is in the air, and everywhere you see helpful garden planting memes (graphic pictures and text with quick easy to digest visuals) that really aren’t all that helpful, and sometimes are flat out wrong. So I’ve recently made my own “when to plant your veggies” meme (see bottom of post). Read the rest of this entry »

Fall LeavesWow. These last few months just FLEW by. I did my last farmers market of the season on October 29th. I did my first market of the season on April 30th. We got rained out of four. (Because all of my soap and jam labels are paper, rainy markets and I don’t mix. Even though I’m under a tent, its almost impossible to keep everything dry.) We took one additional Saturday off. So I did a total of 47 market days, in four different locations, this year. My sales were up about 40%, so the move into the Pendleton and Richland markets was a good one, even though the first year at a new market is always about building your brand and customer base with the locals. I attribute a large part of the increase to my being able to offer jams throughout the year. Jams were about 27% of my sales this year. Mostly, I am thrilled to be finished. I’ve been pretty darned brain dead these last few weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

Magic Manna Flour Corn Harvest

Magic Manna Flour Corn

When a farmer says corn, no doubt the first thing that comes into your head is sweet corn, dripping with butter, maybe hot off the grill. I know that’s what I think of. But corn has a long and fascinating history. Corn is thought to have been domesticated at least 7,000 years ago, somewhere in central Mexico, from a wild grass called Teosinte. Modern day corn is a plant that literally can not survive without human input, as it needs to be planted and harvested by us in order to continue. It is (or was) a crop with huge genetic diversity. The US Department of Agriculture’s Plant Introduction Station in Ames, Iowa holds 19,780 different samples or “accessions” of corn from around the world. Read the rest of this entry »

Hobbit Hound Charlie

Because Charlie has such big feet, my husband has started calling him the “Hobbit Hound”.

So, the Saturday downtown farmers market started April 30th, and I’ve started attending the Pendleton market on the 2nd and 4th Friday evenings of the month, starting May 13th. Both have been very successful so far. May is always a good month for markets! Come down and see me. Read the rest of this entry »

I love April. It seems every day I go out and find new things to marvel at, from ducklings that seem to double in size overnight, to new plums starting to form on the plum tree, to lilacs filling the air with their heady scent. There are future harvests everywhere!

Young Ducks and Chickens

Chickens born March 22nd, Ducks born March 29th. Now all together in a “brooder” room for another couple of weeks.

Sheep Growing Up

The lambs are growing up. Drew is off his bottle. They like lilacs too. Especially if they are close enough to eat.

Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_20150703_093145watermark

A mix of carrots from early in the season, before they were mature.

Just a quick post about some carrot taste testing we did this year. I had a whole bunch of carrot seed left over from last year, and because I hadn’t had great germination last year, and had decided just to use the seed up, not expecting much to come up, I used my seeding wheel to plant them in 5 rows, one for each variety. Carrot germination is all about the correct soil temperature (not too hot, not too cold) and adequate moisture. The seed is small, needs to be planted fairly shallow, and dries out easily. It’s difficult to get a high germination rate, even using all the best tricks. Not expecting much, I planted about 250 ft of carrots (five 50 ft rows). The varieties were Danvers Half Longs, Nelson (pelleted in little clay balls for ease of planting), Yaya, Scarlet Nantes and Atomic Red. I happened to plant at the perfect time in mid April, right before we got a period of light rains and overcast days that didn’t dry out the soil quickly, and I had excellent germination on everything but the Nelson. Read the rest of this entry »

Jennifer Kleffner

Follow the Farm On Instagram

Instagram

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 694 other followers