Farm Blog

What's happened most recently? This will have more pictures of dirt than is really reasonable. 

Twining tomatoes

Some tomatoes will grow up a string, if you twine them around it (and prune a bit to help). The strings are tied to a wire overhead and an end buried under each tomato.  This uses much less covered space than letting them do their natural sprawl. 

Woven tomatoes

Other tomatoes are shrubby not vining. To keep them from breaking stems and dropping the fruit on the ground, they get steel posts down the row and are "basket woven" with each other and the posts as they get taller. 

Wet spring

Remember the big rainstorm in late May? I spent the Sunday digging all my ditches deeper and there was *still* standing water even in my hoophouse days later. The tomatoes in the soggy patch are Not Happy. (I have extras, that's why the propagation table picture below.)

The row cover -- that's the white gauzy stuff -- did keep some of the tiniest plants from getting beaten down. That's it's job!

Propagation house

A shared hoophouse with mesh tables to start our seedlings on. Potted seedlings make a head start for plants that need a longer warm season than we have in the ground (basil, tomatoes, squashes). Even for cool-happy crops, letting them get a few inches tall while protected and then transplanting them lets them outcompete weeds and slugs, so we get more crops without herbicides and pesticides. 

Some things dislike being transplanted -- root crops  especially -- though there are people who do it successfully anyway.  And some things I can't get going in pots but are okay in the ground; spinach for me, though lots of people transplant it. 

In cold weather each table gets a second cover of nonwoven fabric, draped over wires. I bent mine to shape to allow the tallest seedlings down the center under the standard width of fabric. This may have been overkill, but you know, I only had to do it once...   

Whirlwind

Amazingly, we had a dust devil in Woodinville a few weeks ago. Wrecked half my neighbor's hoophouse, I lost a couple of pots (picked more of them out of neighboring fields), and it scared me to heck. Mostly after the fact, when I realized how much rebar got thrown around when the hoophouse tiedowns popped loose.

Whirlwind

Silage tarp -- very heavy, with dangling tiedowns -- thrown across several farms and dropped across the river

Getting ready for 2024

It's still pretty darn wet in the field, but all the beds are at least partly above water. (It's a wet site!) The first few rows are under giant breathable tarps to kill weeds and dry out the soil; I'm looking forward to blooming dandelions because I like making jelly from them; and it's seed starting time under cover.