This has been a surprise. Veggies should have been ripe sooner. Flowers should be blooming. For whatever reasons the season is slow. We are designed to provide fresh vegetables. We don't have enough produce to provide bushels of anything for canning, pickling, or freezing. Just so you know. Just for fresh eating...a week at a time. Come visit us to see what we mean.
Mother Nature dictates our opening date. We have 32 varieties of tomatoes. When we have ripe ones available, we will open for picking. I am guessing that will be about the second week in July. This year we will be open every day except Sunday. Hours each day will be 8 am to noon. We will be happy to open the field by appointment as well. An email or phone call the day before you want to pick will usually work. I will blog our opening date as soon as we know when. Our design is to provide fresh food, so we will never have bushels of produce for canning or freezing. The idea is to come out and pick what you will eat for the week. We will help you learn how to recognize the ripest fruits and veggies. Come out for a fun time!
Baby strawberries are small and green until they begin to ripen which is usually about 30 days after they bloom. These strawberries are special. They grow and get ripe in July and August which is just perfect for our gardens since we are only open during those times. The type of strawberry is called "day-neutral" and they don't ripen during June like all the berries most of us are used to picking. We contain these berries by planting them inside tires in April. Then we just keep them watered, weeded, and fed to get luscious berries for you to pick.
In Amsterdam, water is managed so that there can be land. A series of low lying fields, canals, and locks work together to open acres of land for living and farming. Without these water management tools, the whole country would be under water. On our farm, we are seeking a solution to harvest rainwater so that we might have good water to irrigate with when drier weeks come along. Vegetables and fruits need one to two inches of water each week to mature to their full potential. In Ohio we get plenty of water from Mother Nature, but she doesn't gift it evenly. Some weeks we might get two to four, while other weeks we might get none. A rain harvesting system will allow us to keep the fruit and veggies happy.
The babies are coming along. It always disturbs me to have to thin out the seedlings but it must be done. Only one seedling to a square. As it turns out we have 32 varieties of tomatoes this year. If we get a tomato tasting survey arranged during World Kitchen Garden Day, we will sure have lots of variety! I love finding out what varieties of a vegetable will grow here...on my farm, in Highland County. And then of course there is the taste test. What would be the point of growing something that tastes terrible? We always seek the best tasting variety that grows on our farm.
After filling all the Speedling trays, the challenge begins. Can I keep these baby plants watered and fertilized until May 1 producing strong healthy plants? Here is my favorite watering can. I bought one for my granddaughter, but it watered so well, that I bought one for myself as well. I have only five trays, so this little watering can works great. Thanks Mister Square Pants!
This is a Speedling tray nestled into a green underplate that holds the styrofoam up off the bottom. This design feature allows the roots to be air-pruned and promotes sturdy seedlings. Another design feature is the shape of the planting hole. These are pyramidal with a hole in the bottom. Transplant shock is almost unheard off using these trays. The sustainable part of these is that the trays can be used repeatedly for many seasons.
Since it is March 1, even though Mother Nature is still giving us Winter, I am starting my tomatoes today. We will have over 30 varieties this year by the start of our season - July1.
When Mother Nature tests our strength and resolve, I try to remember that Spring is just around the corner. I do love the snow, but playing in the snow is much more fun than getting stuck in the snow. The other pleasure that happens when snow is covering the ground is the endless stream of seed catalogues that show up in my mailbox. My order is complete, and I am looking forward to starting my plants the beginning of March.
No rain! For us that means the season must end early. The veggies are parched. The flowers are withered. I hope you will check in with us for next season. We will plan to start picking the first of July. On the list for next year are tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, corn, beans, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, sunflowers, white marigolds, and zinnias of all colors.