Tuesday, June 27, 2006

More Farm

Finally, some of the photos I was trying to post the other day.

This is the patch of black kale. We grow white and red kale too. This is black's first year here. Very interesting looking plant, don't you think? Tastes wonderful too. Since this photo was taken, the kids weeded it. Next we will cut it back pretty severely, put compost/manure on it, and let it grow vigorously back. With a little luck and a good bit of dilligence we should be able to cut off this patch of kale until next spring at least.

These are strawberries dressed in their finest tulle. It manages to keep the rabbits away -- rabbits which would otherwise kill every strawberry plant we could plant. We also pee around the patch a good bit, also to discourage them. We've never gotten massive amounts of strawberries, but we enjoy all there are.

Ah, yes, and lest I linger too long on the successes, this is the beet patch; this is what rabbits can do to a beet patch. Ah, if only it had had a dress made of tulle. This piece of ground, in the last week, has been taken to another purpose. I'm not sure exactly what we put there but there was no need for these beets to encumber the earth anymore. (well, most of them were already not encumbering the earth . . .)

Always so much to do. Still, there is always time for a party. Garden party on!


clairesgarden said...

looks like there's been a lot of hard work going on in your garden, the weeds always manage to creep in. sorry the rabbits are creeping in too, I don't get them here.

madcapmum said...

When I first saw the first photo, I thought is was cacti!

It's good to hear that the tulle keeps the rabbits off. I'm surprised that they don 't crawl in under the edges. What are you holding them down with? And while I'm on the subject of marauding animals, do you have burrowing sorts? We have Richardson's groundsquirrels here that play hell with gardens.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Weeds are not bad -- lots of biomass! Dirt protection! Free rabbit food (for the domestic sorts)!

Don't hold the tulle down with anything, just lay it over. Anything seems to be enough to spook them off. They don't want to be trapped, and maybe they aren't that desperate too. The most troubling borrowers we have would probably be moles and voles and mice. Groundhogs burrow but in the garden they just come and eat things down, not burrow.

Some years the mice eat all the pea seeds, and will get under the mulch to the potatoes and take a nip out of lots of them. To keep them from eating the pea seeds, take a paper towel, put a little kerosene on it, put in paper bag, add seeds, shake and let sit in the bag for maybe 20 minutes, then plant. That's stink enough to keep them away and doesn't hurt the seeds. Even though it could not possibly be an approved "organic" method, it works and don't hurt a damn thing. In the potatoes, we just trim them and eat them anyway.

javaseeker said...

June kale and fava in Tennessee? We've been cooking in the upper 80s and into the 90's for a month now--couldn't possibly last, could they? Good luck on the varmint control, and happy roasting for the rabbits (mmm). The wife makes a most excellent rabbit jus, we'll put a spoonful in just about anything.

Anonymous said...

Mice, you say? Why don't you put that vicious attack cat in the previous post in the garden?

madcapmum said...

You don't weight it down? You mustn't get wind like we do. It blows pretty much constantly here, and often very, very hard, so anything we don't want making a trip to Montana needs to be held down somehow.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Oh, Eleu, that cat is the funniest thing. She makes every step a human makes, and if we leave, she waits in the front of the property for us to come back. Hopefully she's chomping mice then, but who knows.

Java, we've had some high temps but some cool ones too. Don't find it bothers the kale all that much (spinach and peas, yes, but then again, we still have peas, and we can put spinach in cooler microclimates, like by the stream in the shade). Also, once the favas start, they seem to make.

Speaking of favas, we simply fried some last night, almost chip like. DEEEElicious.

Madcap, I'm sure we don't get winds like you get up there -- the mountains break it up and send it in different directions, or up. Right now it isn't held down although most years I've put limbs along the edges. If we get a good storm, it might blow off but then we'll just put it back on. It won't go far I don't think, just against a tree or bush -- that bed is pretty well surrounded.

Laura said...

That cat sounds like a dog we once had. He would eat berries off the bushes while we picked into buckets. When Mom was peeling bark off poplar poles for the house we were building, he sat right alongside and peeled bark with his teeth. But he also seemed to mistake himself for a cattle-beast; sometimes he would stand next to the bull at the feed bunks and eat hay.