Monday, August 12, 2013

Grading garlic

It's coming soon....

Cleaning, grading & weighing garlic.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Curing Garlic

The barn is repaired!
The old crumbling limestone foundation is removed and replaced with a concrete foundation, back wall jacked up and rebuilt, new roof, reinforced infrastructure, cables strung from gable to gable to pull the whole thing back together, the missing boards replaced, bird entries covered with screens, new barn doors (on salvaged track) and the garlic drying racks are permanently installed. 

 New boards (they sure stick out against the red siding).  Also fixed is the hinged window
View from inside the barn, the door is built from tin extras from the shop building
The photo above shows the exterior on the hill top side.  Our barn is known as a banked barn, it refers to the back half being buried in the hillside.  This photo shows the new foundation sill and the new red siding which is where the wooden siding was cut and removed to allow Bill access to the sill.  After rebuilding the sill, he replaced the mostly rotten siding/boards with extra metal siding from the shop (bright red in this photo).  Since this is also the soil splatter area (and the back where no one sees it, the metal siding on the bottom makes a lot of sense).
Also shown here is the new white sliding door. 
Inside the barn, Bill is installing the garlic drying racks.  These are now a permanent fixture in the barn.  They are 12 feet tall.
And the 2013 garlic harvest is in! 


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Final 2012 tomatoes

In anticipation of a busy garlic harvest season, I am making a big pan of chard lasagna on Sunday to freeze for quick late night meals.  So today the last of the 2012 tomatoes went into the slow cooker to make the sauce...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Wheel hoe

The Valley Oak Wheel Hoe may be the single greatest hand tool that we use on the farm these days.  The blade/hoop attachment slices easily and cleanly through the invasives that we are continually fighting like thistle, burdock and curly dock.  This is a fun tool to use:  no bending or kneeling and it's gratifying to slice through a thick thistle plant and root! 
This photo shows the end of a garlic bed that wasn't fully planted with garlic.  I first cleared it with the wheel hoe blade attachment and then attached the 3 tine cultivator which allowed me to clear the "trash" from the bed and then loosened the soil.  I then put in some beet seeds.
Wheel Hoe - made in the USA.  Ours was purchased through the
great folks at Green Heron Tools 
 Chard in the foreground, kale in the back.  Buckwheat cover to the right.  The buckwheat is really taking it's time this spring to get going.  Some of the weeds are getting ahead of the buckwheat so the smother benefits might be minimal. 

Today, right out the front door on the county road at our church-house was a young turkey. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Barn Roof v2

No work done on Wed but today the "front" of the barn roof was finished.  Crew starts the opposite side tomorrow.

Thurs, Jun 6th

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Getting a new barn roof

Bill has done a lot of work on the old barn.  The garlic harvest is going in the barn this year (not the shop unlike the previous year since we doubled the planting quantity) so we are under pressure to get the foundation repaired, the building jacked up, a new roof and repairs to the barn board siding.

This week brings the new roof.

Sun, June 2nd


Monday, June 3rd
Tuesday, June 4th (roofers got rained out at midday)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Garlic - and canning season (Pickled Green Garlic)

The garlic is looking good.  Although we are weeks behind where it was maturity-wise last year at this time.  We've completed our first pass at weeding the beds. 

All tomatoes are transplanted.  Varieties this year are Hillbilly Potato Leaf, Illini Star, Blonkopfchen, Green Zebra, Martino Romano, Dester and Kellogg's Breakfast. (Our forever thanks to Penny at Wishful Acres for introducing us to Kellogg's Breakfast!)

Kale, Swiss Chard and a couple of pepper varieties are also transplanted.  Pepper varieties transplanted are Georgia Flame, Beaver Dam, Lipstick and Alma Paprika.

Memorial Day saw summer canning start again. 

Our first batch of pickled green garlic.