ThistleDew Farm

ThistleDew Farm
Established 2009

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday is Catch-Up Day

Here's what I did over the weekend - remember we're living the Hippie Lifestyle and we don't have Internet or cable at the farm yet, so I must catch up with you about the weekend during the week.

This past weekend I planted the Garlic Bed...

But first, I went grocery shopping and stopped off to buy some yarn to finish the cross stitch portion of an afghan I'm crocheting for The Hubby. Being a color and texture fanatic, I couldn't resist a treat for the Princess and allowed her to pick out a few skeins of wool for a hat at The Knitting Nest in Maryville. She selected black, dark pink, and teal green the little fashion diva.'s the result. (I started it on Sunday and finished up Tuesday evening - about 3 hours of work time). The result was a crafters dream.... I used a basic ripple pattern so it would be a little different and when she tried it on she said (right on cue)....I love it, it's perfect, just like I dreamed it would look! Ahhhh, be still my little heart - this is why she is indulged like a princess!

Oh yeah, I was talking about planting the Garlic Bed. Back home from shopping it was time to get to work....except that....

I caught a blurry shot of a greedy bumblebee using his last bit of energy to get drunk on my marigolds! I am easily sidetracked....

Oh I was talking about the Garlic Bed....

Every project includes several offshoots before you can do what is needed.

So, first I had to harvest the seeds from the Sunflowers, Beans and Wildflowers growing above the Sweet Potatoes... Then I got the Dahlias, herbs, fennel and miscellaneous items from Winona's Bed and Bob's Bed, since I had the gathering sacks out. You might refer to them as paper lunch sacks - but at ThistleDew Farm they are Seed Gathering and Storage Devices.
I am attempting to reduce my seed costs next year by harvesting as many seeds and digging up tender plants or mulching them in as I can. Yes, Lisa that is your Rosemary among his friends!
I don't know if the Sweet Potatoes were happy being pulled from their nice warm bed and put into a box, but let's hope after a week or two they sweeten up nicely....I'll let you know.
I got a nice small harvest from about 12 slips planted in a raised bed lined with newspaper - not bad for the first year and a less than ideal growing season....we are in our second drought year in Eastern Tennessee and although we watered regularly it was no substitute for mother nature's bounty.

The Garlic bed is the one closest to you, the other bed is dreaming of being a fall greens bed. Terri at Clay Hill Farm can let you know how that is working out.....

For the garlic I planted two rows of Mother of Pearl White down the center - a softneck variety. (Sorry for the icky picture to the left - but that's the Mother of Pearl White cloves and bulb) Softnecks are the type you normally buy in the grocery store. I also planted a row of German White and two rows of Red (can't remember the name right now) - both hardneck varieties. Hardnecks are a bit milder/less spicy but the great attraction is the scape or green portion that the flower will come out on if you didn't harvest the scape and grind it up into a wonderful dip! In the early summer you harvest the scapes, careful not to wait to long, if it blossoms they are past their prime. The added benefit in cutting the scapes is that it encourages bigger garlic bulbs. Softneck varieties don't get scapes unless they are stressed which usually means it's harvest time! You can braid the stems of the softneck varieties which also helps with storing them (lots of air and looks pretty). I am going to really love the Garlic Bed mainly because I don't have to do a thing until July - and then harvest! The cloves are planted in the fall usually around Halloween but our full moon was last week (this is a root vegetable planting sign) so I went ahead and got it out of the way. I reserved a bulb of the softneck white to plant in the early spring as an experiment (there is so much advice about planting garlic that it is hard to know exactly what will work in my situation so I'm experimenting!). Next weekend I will mulch in the little garlic cloves to keep them warm over the winter so they can think happy sprouting thoughts.

After harvesting the sweet potatoes, various seeds and planting the garlic the Hubby wanted to get his Lowe's Home Improvement fix so we headed down the road. We selected the bead board for the porch ceilings. We had to sort through 50 sheets to get 22 we liked! It is nearly all finished thanks to the Number One Nephew and Brother John (not from Robin Hood, Hubby Dan's older brother). I took a picture but it must not have made the cut when Hubby sorted them....I'll try again tomorrow.

There is a hub of activity around ThistleDew Farm! The HVAC guys are putting in the heating and air units and the septic guy is out front putting in the septic system! These items are a big step toward domestication for a family living the bohemian lifestyle! With a little luck in a mere two weeks we'll be pooping indoors!

Ashley, aka The Princess, is very excited about the prospect of recycling our waste and feeding the eight she is so concerned about the environment I'm sure she's being recruited by GreenPeace! She once cried because our dog ate a grasshopper. You see, grasshoppers eat plants and with this one gone the entire ecosystem was in danger - yes she actually said this!!!!. When I protested and requested she let the dog have it's fun I was informed that the grasshopper was one of God's creatures and I was very uncaring. I explained my belief that God put a few extra grasshoppers around to amuse dogs. She bought off on this especially since everywhere you looked were grasshoppers. The wellspring of tears subsided and peace was restored. Lesson learned: I restrict my bug killing activities and opinions to when The Princess isn't around.

Here is what Ashley did with some of the leftovers from the HVAC guys - I told you we are all about recycling around here....That thing around her head is a sheer plastic thing that she cut eyes and a nose out of.
I guess that makes it a weekend! I've caught you up to last weekend and it's only Wednesday...time to plan next weekend. Oh did I mention that we ran short of siding - I'm back to staining, there's 320 board feet waiting on me, guess my weekends booked already! This is trouble because this is the last weekend before my craft fair on the 30th....arrgggg (said in a pirates voice)


Terri said...

I can come stain tomorrow evening for a bit. I'm on call tonight, then I'll go home and get a bit of sleep, and then I'll study 'til my eyeballs nearly (but not quite) explode, then I'll bring a bottle of wine up and we'll stain for ~ 90 minutes. I can do that because then there's only Friday to survive and I get a weekend! Woohoo! :)

So - 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. tomorrow night sound good?


Amy said...

The Princess's hat is darling!
I can't wait to see how the garlic grows....sometimes mine starts growing before I use it, but that's another story.
Growing sweet potatoes! I so wanted to do grow some. Yours look lovely!

Debra said...

What a productive weekend you had! and you saved seeds! Something I am just not good at!
Your garlic sounds wonderful!

Thistledew Farm said...

Staining Party at ThistleDew Farm tonight at 7pm! Hurray!

Thistledew Farm said...

Hey Amy, you can plant those sprouting cloves....put it in about 2 inches deep - Hey I think I'll blog about my ginger that sprouted....thanks for the idea