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

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 »

Striped German Heirloom, 1.8 lbs, 2015

Striped German – an Heirloom, weighing in at 1.8 lbs!

I’ve been on a search for the perfect 8 oz tomato. I grow a lot of lovely heirlooms. German Pink, Dester, Stripped German. Beautiful, huge tomatoes. Some well over 1 lb. But not everyone at market wants to pay $3 or more for ONE tomato. So I’ve been looking for a medium sized red tomato with excellent flavor. What I really want is a red version of Valencia, which is a fantastic yellow/orange heirloom that I’ve been growing for the last two years. Read the rest of this entry »

DSC08753watermarkSo, the larger your garden, the more weeds, right? I have a large garden, but I don’t own a tractor, so I still tend to plant more along the lines of the square foot gardening method rather than the traditional “x spacing between each plant, x spacing between each row”. Those back of the seed package guidelines, by the way, are based on spacing if you DO have a tractor. I can get a lot more plants into a lot smaller space this way, which makes my life easier and gives us more pasture for sheep forage as well. Read the rest of this entry »

DSC08718watermarkI used to just buy bags of potting soil at the big box stores. Then I graduated to starting my own seeds, and had to search high and low for “seed starting mix”, which is finer grained than “potting mix” and less common. Then I started to really get serious about seed starting (I currently have about 50 flats of seedlings in my greenhouse) and buying seed starting mix just wasn’t a financial option any more. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Bell PepperWhat gardener doesn’t live for the warm season crops? The squash, the corn, the peppers, and of course, swoon, the tomatoes. As we work our way through the 2nd week of December, and approach the shortest day of the year on December 21st, I dream of the summer just past and the summer to come. Here’s what worked, and what didn’t, for me in 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

DSC08274watermarkWe’re on the tail end of a week where daytime temperatures haven’t gotten above freezing. Like the rest of the country, we’re in path of the “Polar Vortex” coming down from the great white north. It’s very unusual for it to be this cold (with snow on the ground to boot) this early in the season. Thankfully, Walla Walla is a big fat Zone 7 climate, and we haven’t gotten below zero, even at night, in the three years I’ve lived here.

We had an incredibly long fall, where we really didn’t get a significant frost until November 11th. I went out and picked the last of the tomatoes, hot chilies and sweet peppers a few days before. Seriously crazy. Our average first frost date is normally in late September, or early October at the very latest. Read the rest of this entry »

San Marzano Redorta GreenI’ve grown a LOT of different paste tomatoes over the years. When I was in Colorado, they were always short season determinates. When I first moved to southeast Washington, I tried all of those same varieties here since I still had the seeds. Nothing spectacular came of it.  Last year, I tried Amish Paste (for the third and last time), Federle and Martino’s Roma. I had bad problems with blossom end rot and wasn’t impressed with any of them.

Read the rest of this entry »

DSC07829watermarkGosh its hot. We’ve had a weird heat spell that has been in the high 90’s to over 100 degrees for the last week or so. Trying to keep everything watered and reasonably cool has been a serious challenge. We have a mister we’ve put into the quonset hut where the rabbits are. Rabbits can handle cold. The heat, not so much. So every day I put frozen water bottles in their cages and make sure the mister and fan is on. I did lose one young one to heat exhaustion, when the chickens or turkeys landed on the handle of the frost free hydrant and turned off the water. A nice 5+ lb 12 week old rabbit. It had only been dead a short time, so I did what I do in these situations, when I know the cause and the approximate time of death. I cleaned it, and we had rabbit and salsa verde tacos for dinner. Does that make me a bad person? Or just practical? Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_20140510_084748watermark

Soaps and toiletries side. First market of the year in May.

Well, June is turning out to be a busy month. I started with the Downtown Walla Walla Farmers market on Saturdays in May. Then on the 4th of June I added the Milton-Freewater afternoon market on Wednesdays and the twilight market on 2nd Street in Walla Walla on Thursdays. Sales have been great. But doing three markets a week is a lot harder than doing two. Especially when my booth at the Walla Walla Thursday market was on the sunny side of the street, on heated black asphalt until the sun dips behind the buildings at about 6:00 pm. 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 789 other followers