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

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 »

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 »

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 577 other followers