Monday, October 21, 2013

Fly Away

Just recently two Great Blue Herons flew over the farm and landed in a tree. we are about to fly off on an adventure of our own.  We are going to spend 2 days in Iceland and then on to
England with daughter, Siri, to wander around for a week or so ending up in Yorkshire to meet a couple of farmers who I know through her blog  I promise to post pictures as soon as we are back. We are so excited.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Change of Hats

 This time of year things slow down outside on the farm.  Getting a good winter garden requires quite a bit of hustle in the middle of summer, getting the plants started, finding bare ground to plant them out in, keeping them watered and weeded.  But now, in October the Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, chard, and overwintering broccoli and cauliflowers are growing nicely, and don't need to be weeded or watered.  We just harvest before each winter market day.

So I can take off my gardening hat and put on my weaving hat.  I often tell people that I weed in the summer and weave in the winter.  Christmas craft fairs are coming up fast and my stock is, as usual, depleted from summer sales so I need to get busy.  I've made one batch of 14 rag placemats in reds and golds
 and started on a second batch on a blue and yellow green warp.  The first ones were woven with blue fabric and i just started a set with yellow.  Then more potholders, scarves, tea towels. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Seed Saving in the Fall

Fall has fallen and along with harvesting squash and beans onions, readying the garden for winter it's time we think about saving seeds from some of the plants we are growing.  We save seed for a variety of reasons.  Some seed just saves itself like the ornamental amaranth that has seeded itself all over the place.  We call it feral amaranth.  This time of year when most of the flowers are over with we can still harvest beautiful big stalks of it.  And the birds love the seeds.  So all summer we weed around as much of it as we can.
 Some seed gets saved in the process of growing the crop.  Like beans where the crop is the seeds.  We measure out enough seed to plant next year before we even start thinking about making chili.  With a crop like this once you've started growing it you don't need to buy seed again.
We also often save seed from varieties that have been deleted from seed catalogues.  For one reason or another the growers of commmercial seeds will decide to replace one variety with another.  The new variety may or may no be a better choice for our particular garden site, our micro climate.  When that happens we hope we have enough seed left to grow a seed crop so we can keep growing that particular cabbage or kale or chard.

Sometimes there is an unusual plant that crops up in a planting.  This year there's a gorgeous hot pink/purple chard that I'd love to grow more of.  Because chard is wind pollinated and we want to save seed from our regular strain I'm going to see if a friend will let me transplant the purple chard to her garden to keep it from cross pollinating with any other beet or chard.