Sunday, June 29, 2008

Riding the 'Gator



We had the grandchildren at the farm this weekend. They had so much fun they cried when it was time to go home. Now that they're gone it is so quiet here.

We rode the Gator around the farm, looked at rocks and bugs and plants, including the 30 or so tomato plants I planted last weekend, all in a row down the side of the sweet corn field. I think they are going to survive, although I'm not sure if they will actually bear any fruit. I brought another 30 plants up this weekend. It was funny to hear one grandson tell the other to be careful not to step on the plants.

Of course they rode the tractor with grandpa, and also a short ride in Maybelline, the antique truck.

The boys had fun fishing in the pond, too. I let them practice casting for a couple of hours with "plugs" on the end of their lines before we put actual hooks and worms on the poles. Casting was a lot of fun, but looking for worms and then the actual fishing was a little more boring, until we actually caught a fish! I was glad they got at least one, so that they will look forward to coming back and doing it again.

Last night we went into Muskegon and went to the Pere Marquette beach. The boys fell asleep in the car on the way, and we were quite concerned that they would be disappointed when they woke up, because the 50% chance of thunderstorms looked more and more likely as we approached the beach. By the time we got there, it was pouring down. We opted to do dinner at Docker's near the beach. By the time dinner was over, the skies had cleared up and we had sunny skies again. It was a little chilly at the beach, and I lost one of their Crocs, but we had a great time. The boys had fun making castle walls, then stomping then or letting the waves wash them away. They cried when we left the beach too, but the stop at the ice cream stand seemed to fix that right up.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

pea-picking

I picked about 2 quarts of peas tonight, an I think I am done with the peas. I pulled many of the vines out. A few days ago I pulled weeds near the peas and planted cucumbers in their place.

The lettuce is just about ready, the leaf lettuce is heading up nicely.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cutworms!

I've never had a problem with cutworms before, but yesterday we got home and I checked the garden and found two tomato plants that were cut off right at the ground.

I will put cardboard collars around my remaining plants tomorrow.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

At the farm

I GOT A GATOR!!!! DH spotted it on Craigslist, it was close to our house, it was in our price range, it worked, and we bought it! It's supposed to be my toy - but DH has been tinkering with it ever since we got it. We borrowed the neighbors' trailer and brought it to the farm this weekend. So much better than riding on the axle of the tractor and balancing on the fender when we both want to go look at something together.

We got in too late last night to see how our crops are doing, but this morning before breakfast, we tumbled out of bed and rode out to look at our crops. The corn is about six inches high, the beans are too, and the pumpkins have about 3 sets of true leaves. Some of the sweet corn, especially where it is planted in the "low low" which is near a swampy area, has red leaves. The same variety on higher ground has paler green leaves. Weird! I don't see that the red leaves are necessarily a symptom of disease, and the plant appears healthy. The Indian corn looks especially good, the rest of the corn looks like it could do with a shot of fertilizer. The pumpkins probably need fertilizer too. I don't see any evidence of the perennial seeds I planted, or the zinnias. Maybe they need more rain than we've had so far up here. It has been three weeks since I planted them, so who knows?

While DH was out cultivating the corn, I spent some time this morning picking up fallen wood out of the orchard to make it easier to mow. I loaded it into the back of the Gator and dumped it off near the silo - we'll use it for the bonfire at the family reunion.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Too much to plant!

Last night I took all the flats out of the garage and put them on the sidewalk next to the garage. Right now they are taking advantage of the wet rain and slightly cooler weather. I am hoping to be able to plant some of them tomorrow morning if it isn't too wet, and maybe get my cucumber seeds into the ground.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pole Bean tepees

I FINALLY planted my pole beans. I made a tepee from three bamboo poles and then used garden staples to run nylon string from the top to the bottom. Got them in on Sunday - just before the storm came through on Tuesday morning. I checked tonight to see if there are any sprouts yet but didn't see a one.

We got quite a bit of rain on Tuesday - but not much of a storm on Monday. The weather radio was blasting an alarm on Monday night when I got home from work that we were expecting 70 mph straight-line winds - so I thought I had better get my little tent greenhouse emptied out of plants, before I lost them to the wind. DH and I moved them all to the garage, then sat down on the patio to wait for the storm. It got a little gusty, and we had a few sprinkles, but the storm passed over without any significant wind or rain! Now my garage is full of flats of plants that still need to be planted.

I am disappointed in my corn here, when we returned from Michigan last week I found that my weed barrier cloth had blown around a bit and evidently when I replaced it I did not line up the slits for the corn exactly over where the seeds were planted. Some of the plants did not get enough light, or perhaps were broken off, and even though I planted 3 seeds in each foot-long slit in the weed barrier, I only see 1 -2 plants in most of them, and none in some of them. It is a good thing that DH planted six acres of sweet corn, I won't have any shortage of corn.

I had my master gardener final exam Tuesday night. I think I passed, I evidently studied many of the right things. Tomorrow night we will be volunteering at the farm doing some more plantings.

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