WOW! The cooler temperatures are gone and my gardens are growing like weeds! Oh... the weeds are also growing in the garden, but so far I've been able to keep up with most of the weeding. Check out these pictures from before and after a two week trip I just returned from. Can't believe how much things grew during my absence. Scroll on down to find out what all is growing on the farm.
What's growing on the farm?
On the arch gardens, we have several varieties of heirloom squash, watermelon, pumpkins and gourds growing with a few marigolds and nasturtium mixed in for insect control. Inside the arch gardens we have a variety of heirloom tomatoes. One will also find a few hay bales in one of the arches growing a mix of lettuce and carrots. It will be interesting to see how the carrots grow in the bales! During my time away from the farm, the swiss chard growing in one bale did not make it. Down he side on one garden you can see the okra off to a good start.
We have additional hay bales growing rhubarb, collards, yellow squash and both green and gold zucchini. I can't wait to try the gold zucchini!
The raised beds contain a variety of herbs, beets, kale, broccoli and various other veggies.
This year we started a small blueberry patch. So far it looks like we will have a few berries to harvest and sell at our Farm-To-You events. The blackberry patch we started last year, and greatly expanded this year, is off to a great start. We are not expecting to harvest many berries this year. Our hope is to have a large harvest in the next couple of years.
Whenever possible, we grow heirloom and/or organic varieties of vegetables. Our goal is to totally avoid GMO varieties.
We are a small farm with several small gardens that produce an abundance of foods. If you would like to learn how to grow a lot of food in a very small space, check out our workshops!
Our small fall garden is growing like weeds! Didn't have a lot of time to plant a large one, but we did manage to get some kale and cabbage planted. We have already had kale with SEVERAL meals. Looks like I will be able to freeze more and still have some to share with my favorite food pantry! Cabbage should start forming heads soon. Last week I added some old beet seeds to a small unplanted space in the garden. We shall see if it comes up.
Speaking of garden... how many of you noticed this garden is in an old feed trough? Started to sell it several years back as we were no longer using it. Then I had the brilliant idea to repurpose it into a garden. Perfect height for keeping rabbits out!!
This should be a great year for fall gardens in Texas as we have a forecast for a warm and dry winter. The growing season should be greatly extended. Just need to remember to do lots of watering.
Happy Gardening & God Bless!
potatoes, that is....
Again, this is another gardening experiment for this year---planting potatoes in containers. Why so many experimental gardens you ask? There are a few reasons. The first being, have you ever heard the definition of insanity? It has been said insanity is when you keep trying the same thing and expecting different results. With that said, I am trying several new planting methods this year hoping for better and more consistent results. Though rabbits do not like eating potatoes, I do not like digging potatoes. After the plants have grown in these pots all summer, I should be able to just dump them out and easily harvest. Keep in touch and follow the progress this summer as the growing season continues.
Trying out hay bale gardening for the first time this year. You will see strawberries , planted after the conditioning of the bales. One reasons for trying this method is to try and prevent the wild rabbits running amuck in the yard from eating all my produce! Hoping the bales will be tall enough to prevent rabbits from reaching the plants.
After determining most of the plants nibbled on by the rabbits were going to survive, I decided to plant them in the hay bale garden as well. I had previously planted seeds of various greens in the bales, which failed to sprout. This failure left abundant room to transplant the nibbled on plants from the raised bed. It has been less than a week since the transplant. The new growth is unbelievable! You will notice some larger cabbage and brussels on the back row. There are plants purchased to replace what the little cotton tails had snacked on.
Had some neglected kale plants in a planter on my patio. Thought I would use them to start a food forest as I had found the perfect spot on my property recently. This spring I will be planting a few fruit trees in the area, but for now, I thought I would start with this kale. As you can see, it has been neglected. Don't remember the last time I watered it. Can't believe it's still showing signs of life. These plants were actually purchased 18 to 24 months ago. They have been pretty hardy as they have survived the scorching Texas heat and short lived snowy conditions that pass through on occasion throughout the winter. As of recently, they have survived me. In planting them, I'm confident in the location I have chosen. It has been a long while since we have had any real measurable rain. As I removed the plants from their container and placed them in their new forest home, I was amazed at the moisture in the soil. Another reason I decided to make this move was to see how they hold up to predators. More concerned about the wild rabbits and other small creatures roaming this area than I am the coyotes and bobcats. Use to love all the wild rabbits roaming my yard. That is until they discovered my gardens and thought that handy little food pantries had sprouted up for their convenience. I’ll keep you posted and let you know how this turns out. Until then, cheers and God Bless!
A Mattingly - Owner and operator of Our Little Barnyard. Can't believe it's been over twenty years since I started living the farm dream! What an amazing and challenging journey it has been!
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