Saturday, January 28, 2012

Garden progress

(see my previous post for our first garden post of the season)
I cannot believe it ... I ordered seeds yesterday from Baker Creek and they came TODAY. Brianna brought them out to us while we were working on the garden.

Today the boys are working hard sifting the dirt for a new spot. Corban designated this area for tomatoes. He was very pleased with how well his rock-sifting contraption is working. I am working on cleaning out some of the old beds and getting one ready for a new spinach crop. I also am cleaning the garden area in general - mostly raking leaves so the boys can mulch them and put them into the compost pile.

Here are a few pictures that were taken today:

Here are a few pictures of Corban's dirt/rock sifter. The boys scoop up dirt, dump it at the top, the rocks roll down and the dirt falls through.

They are mixing the layers of dirt - the rocky soil is on top I think and then under it is sandy soil. Soon it will all be mixed together, free of larger rocks (rocks bigger than 1/2" I think?).

Time out to look at the seeds.

Here are some pictures of the green houses Corban put up (with Tylor's help).

A view looking south towards our church.

 A close up of a door latch - Corban found a bag of these things at the thrift store.

Kale. There was a lot more of it but we just picked some.

Ok, back to work!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Gardening Season 2012

Well ... it's here again. Gardening season. If you are like my son though, garden work never ends.

A few months ago he was busy designing and building new green houses that cover the raised beds in the church parking lot, and the hard work paid off - it's january and we are still getting fresh kale, spinach and lettuce. The beets are not doing as good, but we hope they hang in there long enough to go to seed. The lettuce and spinach were planted from seeds he saved last year :) so no cost was involved there. The soil has been greatly enriched with the home-made compost. The bugs have been kept under control with his home-made bug spray (consisting of garlic and cayenne).

Hmmm, what kind of bug is it?

This concoction should take care of them! (and it did)

Fresh salad tonight! (this is about 1 1/2 years old, so maybe it's not so fresh?!)

Here is a recent picture of greens from our garden beds:

Over the last few weeks he has been pouring over the seed catalog and his various gardening books getting all sorts of ideas. He has made graphs and maps of all kinds and [somewhat?!] carefully calculated how many plants will go where. I ordered seeds today from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Corban has been reading "Seed To Seed" and knows a lot about saving seeds ... he has put some of his knowledge into practice but is hoping to do a lot more this year. We'll see. Another book he uses a lot is "The Vegetable Gardener's Bible". And one more favorite: "The Winter Harvest Handbook". Of course there are so many more though; I think he has checked out every book the two-county library has to offer on gardening!

You may not know that we live in a house right next to our church in a smaller town called Monett in SW MO. We have a few raised beds across the street from the church in the church parking lot. These have been a great blessing to us. Last year the boys turned the front and back landscaped areas of the house into beds for lettuce and spinach. Last year also the boys and some brothers planted 6 peach trees and 2 apple trees in the church yard. :) We are so thankful.

The boys work on several farms in the surrounding area, but there is one farm in particular that they are usually at every day for at least a quick stop. This farm, named Hemphill's after the former owner's last name, has a lot of land. A brother here at church (David) tilled up a nice big spot with a tractor for the boys to plant corn, squash, potatoes and beans. There are A LOT of rocks here in SW MO and the boys have been busy picking them. After the first round of picking, David tilled the land again and turned up more rocks. More picking, another tilling, and more picking. Now it's ready for the boys to use their tiller and also add in some compost.

Here is an older picture of the boys working at Hemphill's. It's SO BEAUTIFUL there! This picture was taken in early spring last year I think, so it's not really in full splendor yet.

And just for the fun of it, here is a recent picture of Corban:

This year I will try to be more diligent about posting garden information ... not just for readers but mostly for US to keep track of what we are doing.

That's all the time I have for now though.