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Thursday, December 13, 2012

This Week On the Farm! Saturday May 12.

This week on the farm momentous things are happening!  Earlier this week the new greenhouse was finished and we began planting (4 rows of tomatoes, 3 of eggplant and 1 of hot peppers = 6 rows - the eggplant and the peppers double up). (see gallery: Tomatoes!)
As any good gardener will tell you, every beautiful garden starts out as a pile of poo, or in our case, horse manure.  Before construction even began on the greenhouse Jens tilled the entire site with the rototiller.  After construction he again tilled each row individually to redefine it and fluff up the soil.  We covered the rows with a fine layer of peat moss and with a thick layer of the aforementioned horse manure.  Finally Jens again tilled the rows to create soft, rich, pillowy beds ready to receive the plants.
About time too, the tomato plants especially have long ago out grown their nursery, each one easily topped 2 feet and some even have flowers, all growing in tiny 2 by 2 inch soil blocks!  Amazing!
I have planted many tomatoes but never on this scale and never using this method, which will apparently create exceptionally strong plants that will bear loads of fruit!  You learn something every day!
After digging a shallow furrow down the center of each new bed we sprinkled in a little organic fertilizer mix.   We removed the bottom few leaves and laid each plant down horizontally in the trench about a foot and a half from its neighbour.  Each plant’s stem was gently bent upwards just beneath the bottom remaining leaf.  A pinch of Epsom salts sprinkled on the roots of each tomato plant and the soil was brought back to cover them and the now horizontal part of the stem.
In other news, we have moved the cows from their winter quarters in the, by now well eaten, front pasture and barn to the fresh new grass of the back pasture (minus the lonely bull who remains in the front pasture).  To move them we simply walked behind the herd with a piece of (disconnected) electric fence.  They thought the fence was on and so, naturally, stayed away from it.  Another technique I’ve never seen but which works brilliantly!
One last word, about ducklings.  Jens and Ayse went to get a batch of Indian Runner Ducks and Kaki Campbels and we moved them into their new home in the barn.  So far they are doing great!  Since we got them just over a week ago they have nearly tripled in size and we are looking forward to putting them outside soon.  Once the nights are warm enough and they are a little bit bigger.

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