2 acre farm: April 2010

2 acre farm

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

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Planting, Planting...

I haven't been very on top of the blogging lately. I've been a bit busy planting. So this post is going to be a lot of catching up.

Nearly three weeks ago I set out lettuce, celery, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. About a week and a half after that I planted out some of the tomatoes and all of the ground cherries. In case you aren't savvy to ground cherries they are a type of tomatillo that supposedly has a citrus or pineapple taste (depends who you ask or maybe on cultivar, not sure). Anyhow they are suppose to be great for fresh eating and pies so I figured I would give them a shot. The variety I planted is called Aunt Mollie's. At some point during all this I seeded a second planting of carrots, spinach, and lettuce.

The more present activity started with beans and sweet corn going out last week. For beans I planted “Provider” which is a old standby heavy producing bush bean. I also planted “Dragon Langerie” which is a bush type that makes flat long romano type purple streaked pods that are supposed to be great cooked or eaten fresh. The variety of corn is “True Gold”. I didn’t pick the corn for any particular reason other than that it is an open pollinated variety so I could potentially save seed from it if I wanted to.

This past Monday I planted cucumbers, melons, and asparagus. The cucumbers are planted north of the celery and I will fence them to provide the celery some shade. The variety is a heavy reliable producer called “Marketmore 76”. The melons include watermelon “Sugar Baby”, Cantaloupe “Hearts of Gold”, and Honey Dew “Green Flesh”. The asparagus is “Mary Washington” which is the old standard. I started it from seed back in February. From a pack of 100 seeds I wound up with 110 seedlings. I am thinking I need more asparagus though for market and I have been eye balling a French heirloom variety called “Precoce d'Argenteuil ”. It is a purple variety that is often blanched white. It has a few advantages in that it will produce a harvestable crop the second year from seed and it comes on earlier than most varieties.

On Tuesday I planted the “Evergreen Hardy Bunching” onions that I started from seed back in January. They are supposed to multiple, never make a bulb, and be perennial. It should be a never ending supply of green onions considering I planted around 200. I also tilled a spot in the lower swampy area where the natural spring originates. I tilled it for my cranberry plants that are supposed to be in the mail on April 26th.

Finally today I planted the last of the tomatoes, all the peppers, more carrots, and more beets. The varieties of peppers include “California Wonder”, “King of the North”, some saved seeds from an unknown huge bell type, “Orange Sun” and “Shishito”. All are standard bell types except “Orange Sun” which is a orange bell and “Shishito” which is a small slightly spicy bell that is popular in Japan.

So there it is in all its really lengthy glory. I am sure I have left things out but that is most of whats going on. The market starts May 8th for me so maybe between now and then I can get a few more posts up while I still kind of have the time.

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Whats Up, Everything Else

I have been very delayed on getting the rest of the 'Whats Up?' series of posts out because we recently got some new help here at 2 Acre Farm and he has been a handful (more on that later). So instead of dragging it out anymore I decided just to list off the pictures that were taken for the posts. The following pictures were all taken around 3/18/2010 and as you can imagine have grown a lot since then. Also many other things are now up and growing as well. Hopefully I can get around to posting about them soon but I am currently busy planting like crazy and whipping the last of the sod in the new gardens.

This first picture is the Tall Utah Celery under flourescent lights. Notice the Asian Lady Bug posing for the picture.

The next two pictures are all tomatoes also under the lights. The varieties I have planted are Rutgers, Paul Robeson, Pantano Romanesco, Cour Di Bue, Golden Monarch, Henderson Pink Ponderosa, and Sweet 100 (cherry).

This is the Rutgers sun bathing. The tomatoes got moved to the cold frame shortly after this hardening off.

Here are some of the Brassicas that got started in the cold frames. Pictured is Red Express and Farao Cabbage. Right next to them not pictured is Belstar Broccoli and Cassius Cauliflower.

This picture shows my first experience starting lettuce as transplants and not direct sowing. Shown is Green Towers and Nevada (both Romain). I also have Ruby, Salad Bowl, and Jericho.

The final picture is Mammoth Melting Peas. They are an edible pod type that is suppose to have exceptionally large pods.

Thats it for what I had up in mid March. Hopefully I can get more posted on what else is up and growing.