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2011 Season - Farm & Garden Pictures

February 18, 2011 - Just a couple of wintered over veggies.  'Long Island Improved' Brussels sprouts are on the left and 'Purple Sprouting' broccoli.

April 2, 2011 - Tomato seedlings ready for potting.  The rack is a stainless unit that I picked up at Costco some years back. The lights are standard 48-inch shop lamps.

The tangled mess of neglect.

After many hours of tedious work.

Ready for another season.

Reverse angle.

April 7, 2011 - I got a late start at cleaning and training up the berries again.  But I got it done and that, I suppose, it the important part.  More detailed information on the task can be found on my blog post by clicking here.  Information about blackberries can be found by clicking here.

April 8, 2011 - The weather has been crazy this year.  Cold, wet, very hard to work around.  I got the tiller hooked up to the tractor and got it ready to go.  And then the sky darkened again and down came the rain and hail.

April 10, 2011 - Been working on potting up seedlings and filling up the greenhouse.  Occasionally have freezing temperature scares so have to heat through the night.

April 22, 2011 - Sun finally came out.  Cover crop mowed in an effort to speed drying.

April 30, 2011 - First pass of tilling done.

May 14, 2011 - This is just a couple of quick picture taken with the cell phone while out tilling one night.  Click here for a blog entry on the subject.

May 20, 2011 - For the past decade or more, Mom and Dad have nearly single-handedly taken care of the landscaping and maintenance.  It has become difficult for them to continue so I started searching out options.  Because we farm organically and are Certified Naturally Grown, selecting a landscape maintenance provider is limited.

Although they will use conventional methods if you so desire, Buel's Greenscapes is following sustainable practices here on the farm.  With all of the wet weather we have had this sprint, our flowerbeds were being taken over by weeds and Denise and I were not able to keep up.  In two days, the guys at Buel's got them looking perfect using sweat and hand cultivation tools.  If you are in the Portland Metro Area and need landscaping work, I would highly recommend them.  Click on the picture above for an easier to read copy.  And please, if you do give them a call for a quote, please tell them that Mike from Victory Seeds recommended them!

Even with all of the cold weather, the tomato plants are looking pretty good.  A little on the small side for my tastes, but we deal with the hand we are dealt.

If we can ever get the ground tilled again (it has rained for about two weeks since the last time I tilled), we will get these little guys in the ground.

Bean Trellis Installation - 7/8/11
Bean Trellis Update - 8/24/11

July 8, 2011 - We decided to ramp up and plant about five times the typical number of row feet of beans that we plant in a season.  To pull it off, we needed a more efficient system for trellising them.  We created a video and posted it on YouTube (embedded links above) entitled, "Using Horticultural Netting (aka Crop Netting) to Trellis Pole Beans."

Summer - John was home from college for the summer and ran the grow outs.  We also hired a couple of cousins, who were also out of school for the summer, to help him keep things watered and weeded.

September 21, 2011 - Tomato harvest has been late this season as the summer was on the cool side and mild.  We are working hard to keep up with the fruits that ripen, no matter how small the batch.

Even the dahlias are extremely late this year.  But they are a welcome sight.

Buel's have been doing a great job of keeping the landscaping under control.  And even though we have had no rain since about July and we do not irrigate, the cooler summer temperatures have kept things green.

September 23, 2011 - The fall crocuses, which typically start blooming here just about Labor Day, were planted by either my Great-grandmother or my Grandmother.

Irregardless of who planted them, they faithfully appear right about the beginning of every new school year.  They are a favorite of mine.

The weather has been perfect for getting beans to dry down on the plants, pick and finish drying on tarps.  We have already completed harvesting our bush beans, have made four or five pickings from the pole-types, and are waiting for the limas to mature.

I thought that this was pretty cool.  One afternoon while washing tomato seeds, I heard a commotion in the potting shed.  It turned out to be this Blue Darner trying to find a way out.  I got it to land on a drying screen and it remained calm long enough to get it outside and to take several pictures.  An amazing creature.

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