Sunday, July 26, 2009

Today's Harvest 07/26/09

The high tunnels continue to perform admirably this season. The above photo is just today's harvest from the two tunnels. The harvest includes:
Cucumbers (2 varieties) : 45 lbs
Peppers (3 varieties) : 4.5 lbs
Tomatoes: (6 varieties) : 20 lbs
Zucchini (2 varieties) : 27 lbs

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Boys of Summer

Z & N sharing the first Suyo Long cucumber of the season

Received this photo of my nephews this week. It is currently my favorite veggie themed photo and I thought others might enjoy it too. Thanks, Brenda for sharing it! Here are a couple other
shots of my favorite veggie-lovers from our archives...

Golden Rave Tomato, anyone?

Just a little something to tide me over until lunch.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Refreshing Mint Soda, Anyone?

During the summers we go through a lot of seltzer water. Sean drinks it plain and I drink it mixed with my favorite elderflower syrup or fruit juices. We aren't big fans of consumables in plastic bottles, so when our regular store brand of seltzer recently had a significant price increase, we decided it was time for a change. Sean's brother Paul had mentioned during a recent visit (thanks again, Paul!) that his family uses a "soda machine" to make their own seltzer so we decided to look into it.

We found the info online and were discussing purchasing one. Then we discovered that our area Kohls stores stocks them, so a little side trip after the CSA delivery this evening and we are now the proud owners of a SodaStream Fountain Jet, and we are LOVING it! It can produce highly carbonated fizzy water from our own rather tasty tap water and added to our own "farm-made" herb and fruit syrups, the possibilities are nearly endless. LOVE IT!

I started with a lovely Mint Lemon soda this evening and am partway through a homemade gingersnap soda. And I haven't even started thinking about the possibilities with "adult " beverages. Oh my!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A brief observation

This past Friday I saw a flock of geese flying south at sunset. It was a beautiful sight with their stark arrow of bodies silhouetted against the glowing end of the day. Sheer poetry it was.

Then I realized its July 18, I'm wearing a sweatshirt and have been wearing it most of the day while harvesting...and the geese are flying south. Not a huge flock, mind you, but a flock nonetheless. Huh. I'm sure it was just a fluke, that they were simply moving to a pond for the night. But regardless, it did make me pause.
July 18.
Geese flying south.

Friday, July 17, 2009

From There to Here

Last month my friend Claire surprised me with a wonderfully crazy fiber batt to play with. Its a wild blend of different wools, lumpy slubs, sparklies and whatnot. Here's half the batt and the ball of roving made from the other half, all ready to spin.

The real fun with a batt like this is that you have no idea what the resulting yarn will look like.
Here's the result...

And a gratuitous close up for you real yarn junkies...

What a fun project this was, thanks Claire for the treat!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Neighbor

Today as the harvest crew was finishing up lunch and heading back outside, we noticed a Cedar Waxwing flying close to the door and calling repeatedly. I was tickled to see one, as they are one of my favorite birds, but since they are normally rather shy birds, the behavior was notable. Then I heard an answering call very close by. Looking down into the small garden beside the back door we spotted this little fellow perched among the heuchera.

Cedar Waxwing fledgling

I'm quite sure that I was much more excited to see him than he was to see me. So I tried to be quick about getting a picture and leaving him alone with his chaperone, who continued to call from the overhead Ash tree. When we checked again later in the afternoon, both birds were gone, but I could still hear the occasional call from the hedgerow, so I hope the fledging was a success. I'd love to have them as long-term residents of Blue Gate Farm.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Small-scale Gardening

I don't give too much thought to small-scale gardening, although most farmers would consider what we do to be "small-scale". I'm talking apartment-sized, balcony "small." But when I saw this link today from, I though it was brilliant!

VERTICAL VEGETABLES: "Grow up" in a small garden and confound the cats! - More DIY How To Projects

Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Don't Touch My Tomatoes...

...or I'll cut your little arms off!"

Yes, this phrase was spoken in a strong tone at Blue Gate Farm this week. It was not exactly what it might seem though. You see, the zucchini in the high tunnel are beautifully healthy and growing aggressively. Several of them have gotten so big that they are now crossing the aisle and encroaching on my Big Zebra and Paul Robeson heirloom tomatoes. Nothing nobody, messes with my Paul Robeson tomatoes and gets away unscathed, so my warning was a sincere one.

Today, immediately after this photo was taken, the zuccs received a little reminder of my sincerity. You could almost hear the sighs of relief from the tomatoes.

In related news, the high tunnel trials continue to go well. To date, with the current crops in the tunnels, we have harvested:
Basil: 2.5 lbs
Bell Peppers:8 lbs
Cucumbers: 2 lbs
Eggplant: 1.5 lbs
Swiss Chard: 99 lbs
Zucchini: 63 lbs
Still no tomatoes yet, but they are looking promising.

The field-grown crops aren't doing quite as well. All the rain from the past 2 months pounded every bit of air from the soil and the sun then baked it into something resembling adobe bricks. Doesn't seem to hamper the weed growth, but the crops are suffering for it.