Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Last week

braising mix

practically professional farm dog

giant rhody

bucolic lane

young cherries

farm stand

good morning

new raspberries

farmer pounding post for tomato trellis

In the Greenhouse

A lot has happened in the greenhouse since March.

The chickens moved out to their new coop and left the place feeling empty...

... so Jen tilled up the rye-vetch cover crop...

... we then raked the soil into beds and fertilized with the usual seed-blood-kelp meal mix with lime...

... planted 170 tomatoes, mulched 'em with grass clippings, and trellised them, ...

... then pruned their lower branches and undesired suckers.

This is yesterday morning. The two beds on the right are peppers and eggplant.

... and this is the cold frame.

Monday, May 24, 2010

In the Lower Garden

About five weeks ago we re-spread the over-wintering mulch (chestnut leaves and straw) on the garlic beds. So far the garlic is looking good.

The lower garden has been full of challenges, weeds actually. The coolness of March and April finally broke and everything that had been in the ground for weeks suddenly began growing or germinating. We've finally figured out agribond management and are fine tuning our abilities making the irrigation system work. Yesterday we tilled the final beds and today Jen and her sister planted corn. We hope it doesn't all become raccoon food.

Fennel, salad greens, and beets

newly sown beds of carrots and beets.

Tomato starts for sale. Actually we are almost out of them. Thankfully.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dandelion wine

The raw material

Petals seperated from bracts

measuring carefully, hot sugar water and mash

chopped raisins for sugar

the soup, before cooling, filtering, and adding wine yeast.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Mud wasp larva in the hive. There are two hives on the property, but one didn't make it through the winter. Terry, a local keeper, manages the hives. We took the dead hive apart and burnt the boxes and frames and found a couple of these wasp nests inside. He brought over a new hive and has been feeding them them sweetened water to get them going. So far they look like they are adapting, and the other hive has been livening up with the spring blossoming in the fruit trees.

One of the many red and black ant colonies on the farm. We let them be, although they pack a stiff bite. Last week we moved the chicken coop to near one and wondered if the chickens would demolish the hill or if the ants would attack the chickens. Our bets were on the chickens, enough at least to see what happened. Within an hour the ant hill was gone.

Snap peas last month

Kelda is teaching a 8-week permaculture course here on Vashon and has been our regular guest. Its been nice to talk about plants, design, and technologies.

The beginnings of the potato crop

Honey bees waking up after the long winter huddle.

Jen and Rudi preparing the harvest.

Lotsa parsnips

What to do when you find out you have six 35' rows of parsnips in the ground? Sell and give away what you can and experiment with the rest.

Umm, parsnip fries.

parsnip patties

parsnip soup

and cookies.