Food Storage Analyzer™ Preparedness Pantry Blog Independence Acres: June 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Harvesting some of the Fruits of my labor today

So far this week I have harvested four decent sized zucchini, a handful of cute cherry tomatoes, a couple nice cucumbers, a large basket of peaches, some Alpine white and Quinalt strawberries, and some tiny Thai hot peppers. I'm really hoping the bugs don't get the better of me this year like they did last year, already the zucchini are being attacked by Leaf-Footed bugs and stink bugs. I can't stand the things, not to mention the borers killing them by eating up the vines! I think it is time to start some replacement plants just in case, as I love my zucchini! The tomatoes are really beginning to develop as well, we probably have at least a dozen San Marzano paste tomatoes ripening on the vine, as well as several tiny Beefsteak tomatoes. The Bell Peppers are getting flowers, and a few have tiny peppers beginning to grow. Several days ago we were also able to harvest some Jalapeno peppers, and I look forward to Japanese Eggplant but the flowers just keep withering and dropping, despite my hand pollination of the blooms.

So Excited, I just got a DraftMark Draft Machine to try!

I'm a BzzAgent in my spare time, which means I get to try products out for free on occasion. Today I received a Draftmark Machine in the mail! I'm sooooo super excited as there are several possible types of draft we can choose from, including Shock Top, Budweiser, and Bass, among others. This draft machine will make summer get together's even more fun !!!!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

 Slug Damaged Berries, oh they smelled so sweet but the hens ended up getting them all thanks to those pesky slugs!
This is our "downtown". One of the three nice storms we've gotten this week- I Love it when it storms like this!
 Slug Damaged Strawberries!
 The tomato patch, after 3 days of steady rain...this took hours to weed out, but we got mulch down on all but two rows now.
 All of the small potatoes, we actually dig up even more the next day!
 Cayuga grapes on the vine, our first fruits for this grapevine!
 My better half showing off our third cucumber this year, we ate the other two before we could get a picture!
One of our crabapple trees, seems to be growing well despite the Japanese Beetle assaults!

Another week has nearly come to an end...

Lots of rain this past week, the tomato patch went from weed free to weed full with all the rain! We managed to get around 15 pounds or so yield out of our Red Potatoes and 10 so far from our Yukon Gold-not bad for only planting 3 Lbs of each! We had an unexpected litter of three baby bunnies Tuesday, so that was rather exciting as we didn't know our newest doe had been "compromised" by our sneaky buck (he is an escape artist, I'm not kidding!) We also have a doe named "Houdini", for obvious reasons-they MUST be related! It seems that the strawberries are nearly done for the year, I wish I could find a better way of treating slugs organically, something keeps drinking the beer I put out (I suspect our cats, but I can't be sure!) I've never seen so many slugs in my life as we have in the strawberry beds this year, I suppose the mulch is probably why but I have to keep the weeds out somehow. We also managed to move our RIR's to their spot just outside the rabbit shed, they seem to like it and have been very animated the past few days. I've been picking off Japanese Beetles by the dozens and feeding them to the chicks and our Muscovy pair, they eat them up like potato chips! We also found hundreds of grubs while digging up the potatoes and I tossed most of them in the pens as well, the birds are eating well this week.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

March-April 2013 in Pictures

Updates: So sorry for the dearth of posts, It has been a really busy year so far!

The late Winter/Spring this year was the oddest I've ever seen, we had temperature fluctuations here of 40 or so degrees off of the normal temps, I don't think I remember a stranger year of weather than this one has been! We managed to plants several peach, apple, crabapple, plum, hawthorn, mulberry, raspberry, and blackberry plants. I'm still unsure of how well the Marionberries (blackberry) will perform here, as they were purchased from Washington State. I sure hope they do well, Marionberry pie is one of my favorites! The blueberries haven't performed as well this year, but most of our fruit trees and shrubs experienced blossom drop due to temperature fluctuations, despite us covering them with plastic. We have added two Great Pyrenees to our farm recently, and they have settled in nicely, although they eat us out of house and home :) We still plan to add red currants,elder, almond, cherries, and possibly several pecan trees within the next year, as soon as more space is cleared for them. So far our garden has Beefsteak , San Marzano, Pineapple, and black plum tomatoes, garlic, red onions, Ronde De Nice squash, Dark Star Zucchini, Blue Lake beans, Beauregard Sweet Potatoes, Two varieties of potatoes, Sumter Cucumbers, Black Diamond Watermelons, Asparagus, Japanese Eggplant,Alpine and Everbearing Strawberries, and 4 varieties of peppers. I wanted to add Okra, more beans, and cantaloupes but I'm not sure I'll get them planted in time. Our tiller is currently on strike, so any further beds will have to be dug the old fashioned way until it is fixed,which may make it a bit more challenging.