News and blog
Here's how you cook our Antebellum Coarse Yellow Grits.
I've been mulling over the idea of getting a mule. We had a couple of mules here when I was a kid. When I was a little kid. I barely remember. One of them we kept in a stable built onto the old tobacco barn, and another we kept in a stable built onto the old corn crib. There wasn't much to either one, just some boards tacked together in hopes that whatever was inside didn't really care to get out. Worked fine for the mules. Not so well for the goats that came later.
Now I seem to be crossing paths, mostly online, with folks who are plowing with mules or oxen or draft horses and I'm getting intrigued. What got me thinking about it today was, first, the tractor breaking down (front tire needs a new hub; takes a few days to get it in) and then the tiller quit. So just when I get time to start working on the "weed field" the tractor's out of action, and when I go to till the tater plot I have to spend half a day running around town and fixing the tiller. So I'm a little PO'd at the tillage devices. Where's my mule!?!
I've been hoping to find time to take a break these past few weeks, but I didn't want to be forced to. Just as I was getting as close to caught up as is possible, I got sick and spent most of the last four days in bed. Appendicitis earlier this year and now this. Well, I've finally dragged myself out of bed to try to catch up on e-mails, facebook, and such, and maybe even get this website updated a little.
It's tough to keep up with this thing, but I'm trying! Just a little note here to let you know what else is in the ground now. Here goes: 'Lemon Queen' sunflowers, 'Hickory King' dent corn, four varieties of watermelon, 'Victoria' rhubarb, 'Imperial Star' artichokes, 'Homemade Pickles' cucumbers, 'Roma VF' tomatoes, 'Cherokee Purple' tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, 'Clemson Spineless' okra, plus some brugmansias, lilies, and gladioli.
OKay, you know it's been a busy time when I neglect you this long. I'll just catch you up on what's in the ground. Let's see, Violet's Multicolored Butterbeans, Jackson Wonder Butterbeans, Louisiana Purple Podded Pole Beans, Texas Honey June Sweet Corn, eight varieties of onions, Small Mixed Gourds, Bushel Gourds. Birdhouse Gourds, Luffa, Black Beauty Eggplant, Green Arrow Peas, Tristar Strawberries, Black Oil Sunflower, Jersey Giant Asparagus, and Pig Pen's Sunsaville Garlic. I'll add more soon.
OK, took a break today. Well, actually I brought in several boxes of Mason jars to be washed tomorrow and did a bit of planning. Gonna inventory seedlings now to see what I have to work with this week.
Awesome weather. Set out onions yesterday. Thousands. By hand. Yeah, my back is killing me. Going to check on off-farm strawberries today.
So we've had a few sunny days in the 70s and we're actually getting caught up after this cold, wet winter. We were able to get everything disked and limed last week, and just finished spreading fertilizer today. Our soils are a bit out of whack, so we're still using lots of off-farm amendments. This spring we put down a couple of organic products: sulfate of potash and a pelleted blend of several different high-nitrogen meals. Our soil still has excessive phosphorus, but we're not too worried about that since it's not going to adversely affect our crops and it's low enough that it shouldn't contibute to eutrophication (plus we don't usually have much runoff anyway). Still, we're holding off on adding too much manure until the phosphorus levels drop a little. Next year we'll probably use the same fertilizers, but less of them and more manure and compost if the levels are any better. We'll also rely on the benefits of our winter cover crops next year.