2 acre farm: Whats Up?

2 acre farm

The experiences, trials, and lives on a small farm in rural Illinois.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Whats Up?

Over the past few weeks I have been busy on the two acre farm. Tilling, spreading manure, mulching, seeding, and planting. Now things have come to a lull for a bit so I plan to post a series of posts about what is up and growing at the moment.

One of the biggest chores I have been working on has been preparing and planting the strawberry beds. They are located in a shallow valley between two hills and partially on a hill. It is kind of hard to describe or show in picture but basically what it boils down to is a need for erosion control. What I did was make two identical beds nine foot wide by forty foot long. I removed the top six inches of topsoil down the middle three feet wide and piled it on both sides to create berms or as I like to think of them water speed bumps.

I then planted my strawberry plants on the inside edge of the berms. This created to rows of plants three feet apart. The plants are about eighteen inches apart. I plan to train the runners both into the center and onto the berms. Then I will have five rows to pick next summer. This will also be the beginning of a perennial strawberry patch where I will till under the oldest plants every other year and keep training the runners back and forth.

The varieties I am growing are Oso Grande which is a commercial variety bred in California. The hardiness is questionable since there is very little information on this berry. The good news is that it is supposed to be extremely productive, have large berries, and the flavor is supposed to be superb. I am a little nervous about this one because commercial standards on flavor are subpar and the questionable hardiness but I got forty plants for less than ten dollars. The other variety is Whopper which I believe was Dutch bred. It is suppose to make extremely large flavorful berries. Gurney’s, where I ordered the plants from, claims they make berries as large as peaches. I think that last sentence says enough about why I ordered this one. They are also supposed to be extremely hardy.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yum! Makes me want to grow strawberries! I'm hoping to plant some next year. I have a pretty big organic garden and want the addition of strawberries. Thanks for the great post!

March 19, 2010 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Nathan (2af) said...

Strawberries are hard to beat. Unfortunately if you do them "right" then you are supposed to pick off all the blooms the first year. I don't think I will follow this rule to the "T". I just don't think I have that kind of self discipline.

March 22, 2010 at 11:10 PM  

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