Friday, July 14, 2017

Gardening in Eden

The most difficult things about blogging and farming at the same time:
1. Finding time to blog while the season is really going.  Solution: write a bunch of blog posts at a time when weather is bad, etc)
2. Dealing with posts that wait two or more weeks to show up with pictures that no longer represent how things look on the farm.
3. Failing to remember all of the great ideas you had when you were out weeding/picking something.  Ok, I have not good solution for that one.
4. Looking and seeing you have NO MORE posts in the pipeline and you'd better do something about.
and finally
5. Wanting to produce quality posts and realizing you only have time for a rough approximation of that.

Which brings me to this post's topic. 

Our older high tunnel building that we have named "Eden."

Eden has shown up in many prior posts and you're just going to either have to take my word for it OR you can go look for those posts.  That's a sacrifice I make to get posts out during this time of year, I tend not to create back links all that often.

Ever since it's construction in 2010, we have enjoyed the opportunities Eden has provided for us to extend the season in the Fall and Winter as well as some in the Spring.  But, July may be my favorite time in Eden. 

Here's why:
Tomatoes, lettuce, golden beets, carrots, peppers and beans.
It looks wonderful in there!  The most amazing thing is how quickly things changed.  I downloaded this picture a couple days after I took it and recognized how much bigger all of the plants were than the picture showed.  And, the other side of the tunnel looked like this:

Cucumbers, melons, lettuce, bunching onions, peppers, chard and beans.
We pack a fair amount in there and we try to maintain diversity as much as we are able.  We wanted to get some sweet alysum in there, but found out we didn't order the seeds.  So, we have a few plants we'll pop in there.  Otherwise, there is some thyme along the north edge.

Uh oh!  Weeds in Eden!  Better get on that.
High tunnels have the positive/negative result that you can work even on rainy days.   The next rainy day will find us out there weeding.  Or maybe a late evening/early morning if rain doesn't come soon enough.

Black Krim tomatoes... on the way.
We managed to get the early heirlooms into Eden at about the time we wanted.  Here we are in early July with tomatoes looking like they might ripen fairly soon.  The numbers are not huge early on, but they'll likely get there.  Plants are healthy and we've trellised up to the top of the stakes already.  Guess we've got to extend the trellis.
Darned ants!
Something we haven't experienced much before is the negative impact of an ant hill next to tomato plants.  These two were badly stunted when an ant hill rapidly developed at their base.  For the most part, we like ants.  Just not this particular hill.

Just to show you all I can turn the camera sideways.
The bunching onions were an experiment this year.  We have grown White Wing bulbing onions in here in the past and they have done well.  But, we wanted to see if we could direct seed some bunching onions with good results.  They look fine, but we're not sold at this point.  This was especially true when weather did not cooperate for us to get the field onions in when we wanted.  Such is the life of farmers.

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