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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Wind and Weed Wars

 Tortuga Thursday
In 2012, on the plains of 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.
Weeding is now in full force yet the crops are thriving too. My weeding efforts are concentrated on root crops and money crops. Root crops, such as onions and carrots, do not like to compete with the roots of weeds. The money crops, such as the cucumbers, need to reach their full potential so we have great pickles this fall.

The black plastic mulch was a great investment. Even in the areas where we have a horrible reoccurring grass problem, the rows are better under control. You can see in one of the pictures that between the rows we still

Cabbage
have a battle but at least the plants aren't being suffocated. In addition to the black mulch, we've used grass cuttings on other rows. Frank tends the yard, so now we say he's the mulch farmer.

We had two days of unbelievable wind. It's always windy here, but this was over the top. We had to stake the pepper plants to keep them from bending so far they would break. I think we lost only one.

The wind usually blows from the same direction - kind of out of the southwest.
Peppers
You can tell from this poor apple tree who had a major trim over the winter.

The garlic is all harvested and curing which takes three to five weeks.

Heavy decisions this week on the pickles. After finding some jars of our Old World style too soft, we may discontinue them. It's a touch process getting them to retain enough firmness and pump up the flavor. Our regular ones are
Onions
great but the Old World was Frank and Lance's favorite. But consistency is so important if you go retail. We'll see. Only one more Farmers' Market and we're out of product until September. Success!

10 comments:

  1. Congrats on your success with pickles! Have you tried the vinegar, Dawn and Epsom salts weed killer? I sprayed in the morning - brown weeks that evening. No chemicals - but watch the overspray! It really works!

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    1. I need to try it with the Epsom salts for sure. Thanks.

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  2. Your farm sounds wonderful. My husband used to have a garden over 1300 sq feet which was bigger than our house! Now since we moved, it's much smaller but he still grows at least a dozen tomatoe plants, 30+ pepper plants, cucumbers. We planted some corn and beans too. My poor medicine wheel garden is inudated with weeds. Driving me nuts!

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    1. Sounds like you have a great garden. What's a medicine wheel garden?

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  3. We dissed the veggies this year because the little woodland creatures were having a feast on our work. We put in flowers.

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    1. I had trouble with rabbits eating my flowers in MN, Ilona.

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  4. Hi Brenda, I enjoy reading about your exploits! Particularly wanted to read about your battle with weeds because that seems a common and prevalent problem. Last year I put down landscape fabric covered by 3 - 4 inches of mulch in my yard and used Preen. That really worked well. But I didn't get out there early enough to keep the first batch of weeds from sprouting. Things are pretty much under control - but then I don't have a farm or the kind of garden you do.
    Congratulations on the pickles! Wish I was close enough to try them out.

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    1. Hi Judith. The weed battle is enormous. But the black plastic and mulch have made it way better. Good luck with your battle and so glad you enjoy my blog.

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  5. I love this and do miss gardening. Weeds--'nuff said.

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    1. Thanks, Vicki. The thing with weeds is you don't even have to water them.

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