Wednesday, May 26, 2010

SNAKE!!!!!! All clear, Good Guy!

Tis the season to dance around screaming in the greenhouse, tis the season to jump over snakes in the greenhouse; tis the season to go water in the outside garden while they decide to leave the greenhouse ………… ahhhhhhhh!! See why I like winter gardening better . . . no sweat and no SNAKES!!!!!!!!! The reality is that when we moved in here 6 1/2 years ago it was here a rattler, there a rattler, another RATTLER! But not anymore, we killed the rattlers and left all the good guys alone and they are territorial so guess what; they are dominating and last year I only saw 1 rattler and I am hoping for Zero this year! Last year we even had a King snake; great guy to have around!! They do eat the mice remember!!
Even though they are doing their duty here, I don't like the idea of walking around them so I usually leave them to their business and they are just as scared of me, well kind of, and I come back later!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pirocicabo Broccoli Lesson 101A

After harvesting a few different times and taste testing raw and steamed as I went along (yes, disappearing the same way the snow peas have, but I really have good intentions, you must keep harvesting these produce items in order to promote their production so all is in good intentions :)) I have found the secret to this broccoli crop and I absolutely love it. Patience is a virtue someone said a long time ago and that is the case here; the initial sprout could only be harvested a few inches down, but now all the new sprouts are producing tender stalks, beautiful sweet broccoli leaves and a very tasty wonderfully textured small loose head; I really do like this better than regular broccoli and after all this work very grateful!! Just steam it up for a wonderful punch of flavor. You will probably see it in smaller bags now since I am only harvesting the most tender of pieces!! See everyone soon.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fresh Safe Food

Nothing better than fresh meat from the farm; not only is there no antibiotics or hormones, but it just plain taste better; just like fresh bread compared to a week old loaf; there is no comparison. My favorite part is always having meat in the freezer not to mention I can choose what I want when it goes to butcher. Do I want chops or a roast? Do I want more breakfast sausage or Italian sausage. Do I want those shoulder roasts or do I want more sausage? In this family, ALWAYS MORE SAUSAGE. I love that the sausage comes in 1 pound packages ready to throw loosely in eggs or soups or spaghetti; I used to spend tons of time cutting casings to get my favorites for a "ground" texture. Order beef and you don't want so much hamburger; your choice of sausages can be made or you can go to www.sausagermaker. com and make your own minutes prior to cooking if you want. You want grass fed Lamb at a great price and fresh; order here in Phelan. Grass fed beef is in the experimental stage.

Bottom line . . . you tell the butcher what you want . . . does not get much better than that . . . not to mention the taste is superior . . . I am warning you, you will never go back to store bought.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jerricho Lettuce Experiment 101a has been a success; I don't have this many heads unfortunately, but the ones I have are this beautiful! (No I still have not gone to the store to buy a camera reader and still do not know where my cord is, but you can't do everything!) I have 72 more started to go into the ground this week that I can plant outside and more to come. This variety is the "hope" for summer lettuce; bolts slowly in the heat and maintains its quality too. Market growers in other hot summer areas are having great success and hopefully mine will continue. The good news is that it was started while temps were still cool so if this continues it could be a 9 month/12 season lettuce! The Rouge D'Hiver is a red romaine and is looking just as nice. I sold a few bags as "washed and cut" lettuce last week. Hopefully more in the future. The new field is piling up nicely thanks to the manure from Moonstruck Farm and Bashaws; tilling in this week and planting more squash in about 4 weeks. Leeks are coming up quick along with sugar snap peas; everything loving the humidity of the fog bank today. The new herb garden is planted with initial plants and without fence and they are still there!! Hoping this trend continues and I will move more out there this weekend! Tomatoes are getting a late start outside (in greenhouse they look great) due to our crazy weather, but the good news is that they will be covered by Fall extending the harvest until November and adding more "Winter Growing" space.

Monday, May 10, 2010


A greenhouse cannot contain only vegetables, what fun would that be, and so flowers are a must not only for the attraction of the beneficials, but for the health of my spirit. There is nothing like a vase of flowers smiling back at you on a freezing day to make the fear of a near freeze go away even if only for a moment. There are snapdragons, yarrow and marigolds among others all doing their duty and I let the kales and lettuces flowering out stay a little while too to encourage more beneficials. With the bees already buzzing in and outside I know the warm weather is only a blink away. My greenhouse and fields are not the neatest looking, but if you look a little closer everything has a purpose. From the flowering collards attracting the bees to the weeds that go to the chickens and goats (they love the seed heads on the grasses) to the lambs quarter that is breaking the soil up before I give it to the chickens, which by the way is more nutritious than spinach and then they reward me back with beautiful eggs and one day goat's milk of my own (though their goat antics make me smile each day), which was fantastic from Valhalla and I am going to get more this week to make yogurt and ice cream!!