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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ten Degrees and You Want Me To What?

2012 On the plains in Northern Arizona, two families joined forces and began the trials and tribulations of building a small family farm with nothing in the bank but love.

What's left of the punching bag Lance worked out on
Unbelievably cold temps lately. Frank and I moved in last January, and I know for sure it never got this cold. I look out at the orchard and wonder how on earth those trees stay alive. They certainly look dead. The grass in the yard crunches under my shoes in the early morning - can't be good for it. The empty garden is so sad looking  with the cold lumpy dirt.

Meanwhile, keeping active this time of year is more difficult. Some of us have more ambition than others. We have equipment on the back porch but I can't bring myself to brave the cold to lift weights. My fingers are getting more workout on the laptop. Does that count? I painted most of the wood trim today. I'm counting that since my back is feeling the pain.

We've sent off the proposed plan to get a quote for the watering system we plan to have in the spring. Last year we operated on the flooding system. Crops were planted in raised rows and the trenches on either side were flooded. This causes massive amounts of weeds in the trenches and was near impossible to keep up with. The new system would be flat hoses that have holes. The flat hoses can be buried under the soil on each side of the plants. No raised rows needed. The water would go more directly to the plants and should help the weed problem. In addition, plastic can be laid where the plants are not. I had the job of primary weeder so I'm rooting for this new plan.

Our crops will be fewer this year. For our own consumption, we're only planting what we like to eat. No corn this year, not as many patty pan, no cauliflower or leeks. We found some veggies produce so much per plant that we won't need as many. So far (seeds not bought yet) it looks like tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, patty pan, butternut squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, cucumbers, radish and a variety of herbs. For commercial purposes, we're concentrating on one crop. Frank and Lance are the leads on that. When it's all in place, I'll unveil the great plan!



14 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to hearing about how the flat hoses work out. Stay warm. :-)

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  2. You have my mouth watering with all those delicious veggies! Wishing you all another successful year in the garden. Oh! Did the cold get to the punching bag, or did Lance?

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    1. I think it must have been an old bag but Lance figures it was his punch!

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  3. I so desperatly want a veggie garden this year. I need to start planning where and what soon. I was thinking of doing a raised garden this year. I've seen some pics in gardening magazines where you build a form out of 2 x 4s and build square forms, fill with soil. I was thinking about putting 3 of these squares in the backyard. I wonder if I could then cover with the black plastic stuff, and then cut Xs out where I want to plant seeds in the rows? I have underground sprinklers so I'd have to tag them out and make sure the square forms are in-between them so they can come up and water the garden. This is a lot to think about.

    Oh, have you ever seen It's Complicated with Meryl Streep? I want her garden!!!

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    1. That sounds like a perfect plan, Niecey. You can certainly use the black plastic that way. We're hoping to use it in the biggest part of the garden. Depending on where you live, planning does need to start. We don't expect our last frost until at least May 15 so for tender plants we have to start in the green house. And yes - I want her garden too!

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  4. I'm not growing veggies, but I have those buried hoses with the holes, and they work great!

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  5. My husband farmed commercially for years. He always grew on plastic and preferred a drip system. We lived further south then and grew two crops per year. I miss it.

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    1. So good to hear. I was skeptical about the plastic. Seemed like way too much work and wondered if it would inhibit the crop. But after last years weeds and now first hand recommendations, I'm ready!

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  6. We use plastic here too. It seems to be very effective. Don't worry about the exercise. Just visualising it is nearly as good as doing it.

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  7. My father was a farmer! I married a truckdriver! Both are very needy professions!
    Good luck Brenda!
    Rebecca

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