RicelandMeadows


Fruits of Our Labor
June 15, 2019, 7:21 am
Filed under: June 2019 | Tags: , , ,

strawberry2019

June 15, 2019

This was our first picking of strawberries for 2019…well not counting a few early ripe ones, eaten while weeding 😮  The wet weather has made it possible to have berries such as these, without any added irrigation. The raised bed also kept the plants from becoming waterlogged, with muddy fruit. I would say that the raised beds were perfect this year…not to mention no bending over for weeding or picking!

buckwheatcover

Here is a picture of our raised beds. We have two , side by side, one we keep a kitchen garden in, the other is planted with strawberries. We switch beds every three years. The switching allows us to fill the beds with soil and compost and amend with any nutrients needed, like lime.

The bed above is boasting a late summer growth cover crop of buckwheat. The buckwheat suppresses weeds and attracts all sorts of “good” bees. These beds produce lots of vegetables for us. In fact, one day we probably won’t need the main garden at all. Until then, we will garden in a traditional garden and tend to these wonderful raised beds and enjoy the fruits of our labor.



It’s June
June 9, 2016, 7:10 pm
Filed under: June 2016 | Tags: , , ,

juneyum

June 9, 2016

We picked these berries this afternoon. They are very sweet and tasty. I was going to rip the plants out this spring, but didn’t get it done. I am very glad, because the new plants I planted all died. This makes these taste even sweeter! I will move some of them to a new bed once the season is over, but for now we will enjoy them where they grow.

We have entered a weather cycle where we get a day or two of sun, then rain. The pastures love it, but it makes it impossible to make dry hay. I will be mowing tomorrow to roll some up for wet silage bales. The cows love that feed. It also allows me to get some lush first cutting hay off the fields and put up for winter feeding. The dry hay needed for the horses, will just have to be made when the weather straightens out a bit.

There is no shortage of work. Garden planting, pumpkin planting continues along with daily chores. The corn needs cultivated and the lawn needs mowed, but the good thing is…I can reward myself with fresh strawberries and ice cream!



Planning Ahead
May 8, 2015, 8:50 pm
Filed under: May 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,
Renovating the old strawberry bed

Renovating the old strawberry bed

May 8, 2015

I built these nicely raised beds for gardening in my old age. We plant our strawberries in one bed and garden vegetables in the other. We keep the strawberries in each bed for a total of three years. During the off years, we grow our vegetables like green beans, salad greens, carrots and any other veggie that is hard on the back when picking 😮

Once we pull out the old strawberry plants, we add topsoil and compost to raise the bed from it settling. The compost enriches the soil. The crop rotation done by swapping our veggies around, keeps our plants healthy. Strawberries are in the nightshade family as are tomatoes and potatoes, for this reason we don’t plant the close relatives in succession of each other.

I can see, perhaps one day in our future, planting sweet corn in these beds just to break up the growing cycle, confuse the bad bugs and have some ears to brag about. I would have to pick the ears with a step ladder, unless they blew over, but wow would they be healthy plants! This compost soil mix makes plants thrive. We grow vegetables in abundance.

I plan to make some “covered wagon bows” to turn my raised beds into high tunnels. These little greenhouses will provide food for us for at least nine months out of the year. I have too much to do with the farm for now, but I am sure one day, these two beds will become awesome food factories. It will give plenty to do, keep me out of trouble and provide us food to boot!



Spending Time With Max
June 21, 2014, 10:04 pm
Filed under: June 2014 | Tags: , , , ,

My Buddy Max

My Buddy Max


June 21, 2014

I think that it was fitting to spend the longest day of 2014, playing with Max. I know he liked it. I too had some fun, enjoying a little down time! I have plenty to do, but took a little time off just to rest mind and body.

I have one more small field to plant. I am planning on an experiment for “dry” hay. I will be planting sorghum, oats and buckwheat on a small paddock behind the barn. I don’t know how it will work, but if it goes badly, I’ll plow the whole thing down in late summer as a green manure crop.

Max and I walked the fields checking things out, finding more work and celebrating a few “wins” along the way. Max is my constant companion, just as I had hoped. I think he will be a great dog…he sure is a smart one!

Max and I checked out the hayfields while we walked too. They are ready to cut. The hay tools are ready to go, now for some nice sunny weather. I need a minimum of three dry days to get my hay made. Perhaps I err on the dry side, but it makes good hay that way. The kind I need to feed my horses, no mold, no dust.

The farm is green, the corn is up, the pastures are looking good. Yep, I think a day for reflection was just what I needed…to have a good dog along, just made it sweeter….like the strawberries freshly picked, from our raised beds!