Sunday, May 23, 2010

We have been busy!

The field has finally been cultivated and the planting has began.  

We are planting in 100ft rows this year and every so often you look up to see how much further you have to go and the end never seems any nearer.
In the last week we have planted out over 700ft of potatoes, 6 different varieties of bush beans, tomatillos, over 200 hundred tomato plants and we think we have about another 400 plants to go!
Kohlrabi seeds and transplants, onions, shallots, leeks, beet transplant and seeds, carrots, turnip transplants and seed and more multipliers.  We will continue the planting out for a few more weeks yet and then it will be time to start all the weeding.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sally & her magic runner beans...

With a week of up and down temperatures and two frosts it really has been April in May!

Michael and I started to build our runner bean frames today and of course as ever I have got rather carried away with the bean orders.  
The seeds of some varieties remind me of Jack and his magic beans, Michael thinks they are more like jelly beans.
We are growing the following Heritage varieties this year, Cherokee Trail of Tears, Scarlet Runner, Sunset Runner, Lazy Housewife, Purple-Podded, Kentucky Wonder & Painted Lady. In a few months the flowers will be feeding the bees and humming birds and then after that we will be have some wonderful tasty beans.  

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Greenhouse..

This time last year Strattons Farm was a hay field! The garden had not been harrowed, we had not built the bird housing and the greenhouse was a base and frame.

This year we are so excited to have so much already growing in the greenhouse, from heritage tomatoes, celery, kale, cabbage, herbs, eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, lettuce, kohlrabi, and the list goes on. 
Outside the dipping broccoli is already in a raised bed with a fleece over the top to prevent flea beetles and cabbage butterfly from attacking it.  We do not use any sprays on the farm even those approved for Organic use can still harm the insects and creatures we welcome to the farm. A small bed of lettuce has been transplanted out, Multipliers and shallots are growing well, the peas are starting to break ground and the garlic bed is going from strength to strength.
Once the rain has stopped we hope to do the last bit of cultivating on the field and then the transplanting of hardy plants will start.  We will also start direct seeding summer turnips and carrots and planting our potatoes. 

The greenhouse on May 8th 2010, Michael is transplanting a few tomato seedlings.
The trays to the left on the floor are leeks, red and white onions and salad onions.  This is the first time we have grown onion from seed and we are looking forward to seeing how they develop.  I gave the onions a haircut yesterday which is rather rewarding as you get to eat the tops you trim. The taste is amazing.

24hours later we have had a frost warning so we have had to rebuild low tunnels in the greenhouse and cover all the delicate plants with  fleece to keep heat in over night.