Saturday, July 30, 2011

Our Visit to Sattva Place

Here are some photos from our visit to Scott's beautiful farm:

Field Trip: Honey!

We had a very honey-full couple of days last week. Scott, our friend from Sattva Place, has two hives on his farm doing quite well. He asked if we would come help him open them up and see if there was enough extra honey for the taking. We happily accepted! We take every opportunity we can to make it out to his farm, it's so beautiful and we always have fun. Scott and Shawn dove right in:
One of his goats was curious about all the action:
She came over to check me out as well. :)
After a few minutes they discovered there was, in fact, honey - tons of it! This is one of the frames full of honey:
The comb was just dripping with it - and it was sooooo good! They only took a small fraction of the honey from the hives, leaving the bees almost all of it. But even a small fraction was a lot for us! Scott sent us home with two generous jars full of honey - yum!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Gardens

In spite of the challenges of this season (and there are many), we have had some successes in our gardens. We have a healthy field of beets and chard with several different varieties to choose from. We also have a couple squash patches that - so far - are doing really well. There have been some signs of major squash bug infestation, but we have done a lot of squishing over the past few weeks and hope to get a good crop out of them.
We have one patch with both butternut and spaghetti squash. The butternut plants look great, while the spaghetti squash plants are struggling a little. Both, however, are loaded with squash so hopefully we will get some ripe ones before the bugs take over!
A butternut squash just starting to ripen: An unripe spaghetti squash: An almost ripe spaghetti squash: A small buttercup squash - these are super sweet and flavorful, we are crossing our fingers extra for these: Some unripe New England Pie pumpkins: We planted the summer squash late in hopes that it would miss the first round of squash bugs. So far so good, they are just starting to produce and the plants are looking good. A tiny patty pan squash with the flower still attached. Kind of looks like a pastry doesn't it? Some rows of sauce tomatoes: Aside from a little blossom-end rot, our tomatoes are doing really well! This is a sauce tomato called Speckled Roman. It will have red and yellow zebra stripes: These are classic Roma sauce tomatoes: It's almost time to pull out all the canning jars!

Ok, we did briefly with a bumper crop of cucumbers...26 jars of pickles: 10 bread and butter, 16 dill. :)

Hopefully we can keep going!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The High Tunnel (Greenhouse)

As things ripen in our jungle of a high tunnel, we are finding all kinds of crazy things. We've had a ton of cucumbers come out of four short rows as well as a good crop of these tiny sour gherkin cucumbers.

Their vines are so pretty, they would work really well in an edible landscape. We have been getting gobs of cherry tomatoes: honeydrop - a new variety for us, and SO delicious. Peacevine, a small red cherry, and also a large purple cherry.
We've also had a great crop of early Cherokee Purple tomatoes - yum!
With tomatoes come pests, the most shocking is probably the tomato horn worm:
They start out small and eat both the leaves and the tomatoes. They seem to be partial to the cherries, they eat about half of each green tomato and them move on to the rest of the branch. They are voracious eaters and they grow fast...and they get huge! This one was larger than my index finger - yikes! They are camouflaged really well, so you don't see them until they are right under your nose. We used to be freaked out by them, but to tell you the truth, I have kind of come to like them. Aside from eating the plants (a pretty hefty offense) they are really cool! They have interesting markings and cute suction cup feet. Their season has mostly past, and I can't say that I'll miss them, but at least I don't jump ten feet every time I see one anymore. :)