Monday, June 25, 2012

Bye, Bye Grass

Leaving grass pathways in our garden enabled us to only clear the sod from our beds, thus preserving much of the soil foodweb and saving us time.  Now that we are in our second year of growing here at The Common Milkweed Farm, we decided it's time for the grass to go.  Steve started the project with some great edging.

A trip to the local recycling center gave us many boxes to lay on top of this grassed paths.

A trip to a local farmer's barn gave us 12 bales of straw.

Ready to start laying...

Now, time for the straw...

Nice!  One area done.  Many more to go, but the system Steve worked out allows us to work quickly.

Watering now helps the plants more since the straw acts as a nice mulch.  Most of Ohio is in level 1 drought, with our home state of IN and NW Ohio in level 3 (out of 5).  Our grass ridding is aptly timed it seems.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Garlic Farmers?

So far so good.

This is our first time growing garlic so we are experimenting with a few different harvest times to see what might store the best.

A trowel is necessary to dig the garlic bulb out of the ground without breaking it from the leaves.

All sources say it is very important to keep freshly harvested garlic out of the sun.  The shade from an adjacent raised bed worked well for this purpose.

After harvesting, drying is a priority.  We tied our plants together about 5 to a bundle...

then hung them from our barn rafters to cure for a month or so.

Can't wait to try some of our own homegrown garlic!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Buckets of Peas

Peas are plentiful now.  We harvested 2.5 lbs of shelled peas yesterday and are enjoying them!   We did not harvest any peas last year due to the overabundance of rain, which rotted many of our seeds right in the ground. This year we grew snow peas (all done now), sugarsnaps and shell peas. The sugarsnaps and shell peas are still growing and producing.  Keeping up with the picking is important now....

 and of course the shelling (which is fun when you do it with a partner and can chit chat!)...

Life is good picking peas.  Put a couple in the bucket, eat a couple, put a couple more in the bucket and so on.