Monday Harvest Report March 31, 2014

A great week weather wise here in Utah, at least until yesterday.  We had temps mostly in the 60′s all week but things turned south on Sunday and we actually had a little skiff of snow.  But the weather was great on Saturday and that let us get a ton of garden projects done.

IMG_6890

This was the first and biggest project of the weekend.  Our truck is broken down so I’ve been putting off renting a sod cutter for weeks.  But Saturday Morning Mrs. Stoney laid down the law for the family and told us she wasn’t going to go a second year with out garden peas and truck or no truck we were going to dig up the sod for the next bed in the garden.  It was a bit of work but with 4 of us working on it the digging only took about an hour.  We did have some rain on Thursday so as you can see the ground was still pretty moist.  That allowed us to just cut the sod out and pull it out, then we ran the tiller through the bed a few times.  Now we have a new 25 x 4 bed.  3 more like this to go and the garden will be finished!

IMG_6912

This whole bed will be dedicated to peas this spring and then will be our melon bed for the summer and fall.  We planted two varieties of peas, this photo shows where we planted the Oregon Giants.  This is our favorite snow pea, they are a vine type pea.  This year we are going to see how they do on these tomato cages.

IMG_6918

The rest of the bed was dedicated to 3 rows of “little marvel” bush peas.  The last few years we have tried different varieties of bush peas but this year we decided to go back to our favorite “little marvel”.  They just really seem to be the best suited to our area and give us the best production.  We are a little later than I would have preferred getting our peas in, but given how up and down our weather has been I really doubt it will make much difference.

IMG_6871

Next on the planting list were this years onion crop.  Two varieties going in the year, our tried and true “Copra”, which are a very long storing variety.  The other is new to our garden this year.  It’s a sweeter onion called “Candy”, these don’t store as long (only 3 months) but are supposed to be sweeter and milder.  We get our onions from Dixon Dale Farms.  We have been buying from them (with a large neighborhood group buy) for 4 years now and I have nothing but praise for their wonderful product.

IMG_6897

You can see we really love our onions!  There are a total of over 150 starts, plus we also planted around 25 of the smallest starts deeper to be harvested as green onions.  All those onions for only $5.30 is a great buy.  Of course that price is what we get for buying them as a group, but what a deal for a good quality product.  If this summers conditions are good, I would expect we will have well over 50 pounds of onions again this year!

Cold Frame Potatoes

Also planted Saturday were the first potatoes of the spring.  This is about 8 pounds of seed potatoes that I planted in the cold frame where the carrots were all winter.  The cold frame will give them a really early start and most of these potatoes will be harvest small in June to be eaten with the fresh peas in one of our favorite spring time dishes.  This bed won’t be one of the most productive beds for total yield, I would expect around 30 or so pounds of small new potatoes.  But oh man will these yummy spuds be worth the space!!  The variety is Red Pontiac.

IMG_6907

Of course we did have a some harvests this week.  In order to get the onions in we had to harvest all the over wintered kale.  There were 3 plants that I had to totally pull out and after pulling all the leaves from the stalks we ended up with over 8 pounds of kale!  Wow that’s a lot of kale!  We have cleaned up about half of it and Mrs. Stone made a large batch of kale chips on Saturday afternoon.  It’s funny we can’t get the kids to touch kale fresh but when we make kale chips we can’t keep them out of it!  They downed most of 4 baking trays full of chips in one evening, I finally had to put them away when I caught our youngest coming out of the kitchen with her cheeks stuffed full of kale chips for about the 5th time!!  :)  I will see if I can talk Mrs. Stoney into writing a quick post this week with the recipe she used.

Along with the kale we did harvest some more lettuce and spinach for use in salads during the week but I forgot to get photos of that!

This weeks totals are:

Kale – 8 lbs

Lettuce – .25 lbs

Spinach – .25 lbs

Total 8.50 pounds.  That brings our annual total to 34 pounds!  It feels great to be back to a normal garden season!  This time last year we still hadn’t closed on our house and were living in an apartment with no spring garden at all so we are really enjoying all our spring veggies.

I will be joining several blog hops this week including the Tuesday Garden Party at an Oregon Cottage, The Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead and of course the Monday Harvest Report at Daphne’s Dandelions!

 

Monday Harvest Report March 24, 2014

We’ve had a couple of pleasant and mostly dry weeks.  For the most part the weather has stayed in the 60′s.  We did have a little snow early in the week but it was gone by 10 am.

Winter Carrots

The warm weather was starting to cause the last of the winter carrots to get ready to go to seed.  I could see the greens getting thicker and starting to change so I decided to hurry and get them out of the ground on Saturday.  I pulled a total of 9 pounds.  They all went into water and into the fridge.  They will stay good like this for several weeks and we will wash them as we need them and get them eaten up!  I’m always a little sad to see the end of the winter carrots, the spring variety are just never as sweet and yummy!

IMG_6374

We harvested a total of 18 pounds from this cold frame, not our best effort but not too bad, especially since they were planted a couple of weeks late.  Next up for this bed are potatoes, I will get them planted this week and they will be ready to eat along with the peas in mid June.

IMG_6373

We have continued to harvest  a good amount of greens over the last two weeks.  Both the spinach and the lettuce are doing really well.

IMG_6375

The spinach will be winding down in the next couple of weeks and I think we will replace them with some extra peas, as this bed kind of has a light load scheduled for this year.  I looked at the rotation schedule and this bed will only have celery planted in it all summer so I think we can squeeze in some extra peas.

IMG_6378

I couldn’t resist throwing in a picture of the garlic.  Things are already progressing nicely, I’m looking forward to early August and having some home grown garlic again!

IMG_6380

Also here’s a shot of what’s next in the spring harvest rotation.  This over wintered Swiss Chard is doing great and should be ready to start harvesting again in just a week or so.  It’s amazing that we are still eating from plants we put in last August!  I love cold frames!

IMG_6376

Here is another benefit of cold frames.  I’ve ran out of space under the lights in the seed starter so to make room I moved this flat of mostly pansies (there are  few lettuce plants here too) out to the cold frame to finish off.  I’m hoping the added sunlight will really kick these plants in and get them ready for transplanting in a week or two.

IMG_6381

We have a lot of work to try and get done over the next few weeks.  The biggest project is removing all the grass for the rest of the garden space and then tilling and preparing the beds for crops.  I have to admit this isn’t going to be my favorite garden task!

Here’s this weeks totals:

Carrots – 9 pounds

Lettuce – 1 Pound

Spinach – .25 pound

Total 10.25 Pounds

This was our biggest week of the year so far and will be the biggest we will have until late May or early June.  Our annual total now stands at 26 pounds or 3% of our goal.

I will be joining several blog hops this week including the Tuesday Garden Party at an Oregon Cottage, The Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead and of course the Monday Harvest Report at Daphne’s Dandelions!

Welcome Spring!

Well it’s the first day of spring and things are popping up all over at Stoney Acres!

IMG_6367

 

Remember all those tulips we planted last fall?  Well they are starting to poke there heads out of the ground!  I’m really looking forward to a much more colorful yard this year, last spring we had just moved in and there was nothing planted in the yard, I’m hopping this year the flower beds will be a riot of color!!

IMG_6369

Spring also means it will soon be time to get the veggie starts in!  Here’s the first tray!  These are mostly Cole crops but there are also the first tomatoes and some celery.  These starts are about 15 days old and are just starting to get their first true leaves.  They will be ready for the garden in 3 or 4 weeks.

IMG_6371

Also my first attempt at growing pansies is going well but slowly.  I was hoping these would be ready for the flower bed in only a couple of weeks but their progress has been slow, next year I will have to get them in earlier, or I may try growing some this summer for fall planting and over wintering.

IMG_6365

Spring this year means a lot of work!  All this grass needs to come out so that garden can go in.  I’m hoping to tackle that project this weekend so that we have some space to get the peas planted and get some potatoes in.

IMG_6368

We also bought the first fruit trees for the new yard.  Two semi dwarf apples!  Still to come this spring will be a peach and almond tree along with black berries, raspberries, grapes and maybe hardy kiwi.  Not to mention a bunch of new flowering plants and shrubs to brighten up our drab yard!  Lots of work to come!

 

 

 

Monday Harvest Report March 10, 2014

Wow, we are having beautiful weather!  We’ve had a rain storm come in about every 3 or 4 days which is helping our water situation a ton.  They are now saying our snow pack  in the mountains is close to normal and our feared drought may never happen this summer.  The days between the rain have been fantastic, with highs in the low 60′s, just perfect early spring weather.

Saturday was one of those perfect days so I took the chance to spend some time in the garden.  The first thing I did was some much needed weeding, the cold frame and hoop house beds were loaded with weeds from the nice warm days. So I cleaned them up.

IMG_6339

I took the makeshift hoop house down.  It didn’t hold up very well over the winter and had collapsed in places.  Many of the kale plants inside did not fair well.  This hoop was a pain to get into and basically was ignored for the 3 winter months.  I wasn’t surprised to see most of the plants dead.

But I was happy to see 4 kale plants survived, one Tuscan kale is still in pretty rough shape and is trying to go to seed, but it has a few good leaves that we are going to try and save later in the week and use them for Kale chips!  Three of the Vates Kale plants held up pretty well and should give us a good harvest for a few weeks.  But they have to be gone by the end of the month because this is where our onions will be planted this year.

IMG_6342

The spinach bed is still looking good, but the plants are starting to show the first signs of bolting.  I should have been better about keeping the lids off this cold frame, the heat as tricked the spinach into bolting a little early this year.  I’m going to leave the top completely off this frame for the rest of the year unless we happen to have a super cold spell.

IMG_6343

The carrot bed is looking pretty rough.  And the carrots we are harvesting are too.  The warm weather has woken up the carrot fly larva and about every other carrot we pick has damage.  We are going to really get after harvesting these over the next few weeks before we loose them all.  Also this bed is meant for potatoes this spring so we will need the space soon.

IMG_6344

The lettuce bed is doing awesome.  We are taking a good sized harvest about every 3rd day and we haven’t bought lettuce from the store for 3 weeks or more.  It’s great to have lettuce this early and we owe it all to Mrs. Stoney.  Our indoor starts that I planted in early August last year failed and we were left without a fall crop.  Mrs. Stoney suggested we go ahead and put some seed straight in the ground around September 15th.  The plants weren’t ready to eat when winter set in but they were young and hardy enough to make it through the winter and now have really taken off!!

IMG_6348

We also got out and planted our first lettuce starts for the year.  8 plants total, 4 buttercrunch and 4 Nevada.  I’m hoping these will be ready to eat about the time the winter lettuce runs out in early April.

IMG_6337

I also uncovered the strawberry bed today.  Usually I cover my strawberries with leaves or straw but this year I decided to try fabric row cover.  This is by far the best my strawberries have ever looked this early after winter.  I’m hopping that means we will have an early crop of berries!!

IMG_6340

This was a fun surprise, while I was cleaning out the hoop house bed I found that the few garlic bulbs I planted last fall are up and growing!!  That shows you how nice the weather has been lately, usually I wouldn’t see garlic until April!

IMG_6347

We did have some harvests this week.  In fact it was our biggest week of the year so far.  A total of 3.75 pounds of lettuce, spinach and carrots.

IMG_6353

This was Saturdays salad harvest.  That will keep us eating salads for 3 days or so!!

IMG_6333

Also here’s a new addition to our home grown goodies.  We have started growing sprouts again.  We haven’t grown sprouts for years and years but we were at our favorite kitchen supply store the other day buying wheat and saw Alfalfa seeds so we decided to give them a try again.  Very tasty, but not enough to really bother weighing.

Here’s the weeks totals, with a little bit from the week before added in:

Spinach – 1.50 pounds

Lettuce – 1 pound

Carrots – 2 pounds

Total – 4.50 pounds

That brings our annual total to 15.66 pounds that’s 2% of our goal of 770 pounds.  I’m linking up with Daphne’s Dandelions again this week for the Monday Harvest report!

Hey don’t forget to like Stoney Acres on facebook,  we are just a few likes away from our first 100 likes!!

Why I LOVE gardening!!

Sorry for no post lately it’s my busy time at work and I haven’t had the time to even think about blog posts, besides write one!

IMG_6336

But I couldn’t resist a quick post on my lunch break today.  This is why I love gardening (and self sufficiency).  My lunch today consisted of a chicken sandwich on homemade wheat bread and a garden salad with lettuce, spinach and alfalfa sprouts.  The salad was picked 10 minutes before I ate it and traveled a total of 50 feet from garden to table!  Hows that for fresh and local!!

 

Have a great weekend!! :)

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: SharePoint Site | Thanks to Virtual Server, Email Hosting and Rent Server