Time seems to fly when you’re
working having fun. The Farm sure has kept us busy the last few weeks.
Memorial Day Weekend drew a lot of energy out of us, it was soooo hot and humid! We got a lot done, though! The weekend before Memorial Day, we planted about 300 tomato plants, 100 pepper plants, cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and green beans down at our “Secret Garden” with the help of our dear neighbor, who is allowing us to grow on his land. It is a wonderful feeling to work along side your neighbors, the feeling of community is heart warming. I wish that more neighbors and small neighborhoods worked together.
We also planted winter squash, summer squash and pumpkins in the Secret Garden as well. I am excited for the Spaghetti squash, which has become one of my new favorite vessels for pasta sauce (we do not eat wheat or grains, so spaghetti squash is our substitute).
Our neighbor and our daughter tilling up soil for planting. Funny, my daughter will learn how to drive a tractor before I do!
My hoop houses got a much needed makeover. My husband was given a stack of old weathered fence panels–we took all the pickets off and cut them to fit the bottoms of the hoop houses. I was originally going to paint them red to go with the Red Barn theme and branding, however, I really grew to like the rustic look of the peeling paint on the fence. We also installed handles and latches on the doors, which is so nice now! No more pinched fingers in the doors!
We also leveled out the ground in front of the hoop houses. We had 8 yards of limestone delivered this week in front of them. This will be so nice for customers who purchase from our farm stand, it will serve as a parking area. I’m also thinking it will be very nice for next year when I plan to sell vegetable plants (I’m hoping to have my “crap” together more next year, too!) I will show an updated photo of the fronts when it is finished!
The photo above is from last week (as is the one below). Our tomatoes have grown a TON in the last week or so, and they could be considered GIGANTIC! I am so excited for tomatoes! I can’t wait to taste the first one, and I cannot wait to share with you!
Everything is so green and very happy and healthy. We have summer squash and zucchini coming on, and soon we will have some for sale! I’d say a few more days and they’ll be coming on in full force.
The tomato pictured on the left (the long skinny one) is a variety specifically bred for hoop house production. It is a hybrid (a cross between 2 strains) called Tiren. It is a trial variety for me, if it performs well this year, then I will grow it again next year. So far, it has proven its worth. They are setting fruit already, I am just waiting for them to ripen!
The tomato on the right is a Big Beef Steak variety, also a variety specifically bred for the hoop house growing conditions. Hoop House/Green House varieties are often hybrids bred to resist the common diseases that plague heirloom tomatoes. These diseases are often early blight, late blight, tobacco Mosaic virus, etc. Every day, these guys get bigger and bigger!
We also have had baby turkeys hatching the last few weeks. Unfortunately, a few have passed due to being sat on by their Momma and even their dad. We have been dilligent on checking for new hatches every day and removing them from their moms (something I don’t like doing, but in this case, the benefits outweigh the risks) and putting them in a brooder pen until they grow a little bigger.
We also drove all the way to Muskegon (Michigan) to a wonderful goat farm to pick up our new girl, Hazelnut (who is now known as Hazel). She is a Nubian/Nigerian Dwarf cross, which makes her a Mini Nubian. She is so sweet and so amazing! She loves to lean her head on your side and ask for scratches behind the ears. She gives us about a half of a gallon of milk a day! With all our extra milk, we have been making cheese and ice cream a few times a week, plus drinking wonderful raw milk with our meals. I can’t believe how wonderful Hazel has been doing as a First Freshener (first season of milking). I can’t wait to see how well she does in the future!
My daughter and I attended our first farmer’s market in Durand this last Wednesday. The city is constructing a park next to where the market is held, hopefully it won’t take all summer! I split my booth space between my Red Barn Botanicals LLC business and Red Barn Acres. I didn’t have my banner for Red Barn Acres yet, but we had fresh cut herbs and chicken and duck eggs for sale. We sold completely out of eggs and sold a few bunches of herbs, along with some soap and salves! Our booth will fill out further into the season with fresh locally grown veggies!