Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hula on the Farm

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.

Red and gold seed potatoes
I'm sure you've heard enough from me about the wind and dust of Paulden. Most of the time, I accept it. Not much else I can do. And most of the time the wind doesn't bother me, but I'll never embrace the dust. Now and then something rides with the wind that really bothers me. Today my eyes are burning so bad I'm  having trouble focusing on the computer screen. Too bad the cucumbers haven't come up yet because I understand they're good for the eyes - used on the outside.

Tomatoes still in trays
We got the seed potatoes a few days ago, red and golden. They are sunning by the living room window until they go in the ground next week. Learning how to grow potatoes was one of those REALLY? moments for me. I would never have thought they came from those little root things that pop out on them when they start going bad in your cupboard. We mail-ordered the sweet potato slips as we can't get them locally. Same process. Lance's potato rows are 115 feet long. I think we'll have a few potatoes.
Setting up tomato trellis

We're experimenting with three different ways to grow pickling cucumbers. We intend on  making a lot of pickles and relish. Cash crop. They vine and Lance wanted to experiment on which method will have them climbing the best.

Last year, we planted a lot of rows of tomatoes and we let them grow helter skelter with total abandon. That was wild and not too easy to harvest. And remember that wind? If you were reading last year, you'll remember the tangled mess we had after one big blow. This year, we'll train those vines.

Peas are popping!
A few rows of seeds are in the ground. This year's improvement of a drip system is working great so far although it does not cure the weed problem entirely. We aren't getting the uncontrollable amount of weeds between rows from flooding. But the rows themselves have hundreds of tiny weeds popping up. Trouble is at this point it's nearly impossible to tell the veggies
from the weeds. Once we can tell, we'll hula hoe those little suckers right
Hula Hoe
away. The hula hoe is like the greatest tool. You can clear tons of weeds and not have to hand pick for hours. Just scrape it over dry ground and voila! Weed-be-gone.

Remember I put out a Quarterly Newsletter about my writing and books. If you'd like to receive it via email and have a chance to win gift cards in July and September, go here to join: 


  1. Brenda, we're from Downunder and we are really impressed with your progress. Having done a similar thing ourselves with tomatoes, we know all about hard work and dirt.

    And have to say it's neat to read a blog that doesn't screech "Buy my book now!"

    1. Thank you, Vonnie. Sounds like you can appreciate the work! And thanks on the blog comment - I think it's nice to know another side to an author.