links Community Nutrition Education Services
 
Community Nutrition Education Services Inc.
“Small Family Farm Project”
Installment #6

July - August - September 2014

Harvest Success and Challenges, Wildlife Challenges, and End of 2nd Growing Season

The weather was very pleasant over the months of July, August, and September. There was quite a lot of rain so watering the trees and plants was less work. The rain did result in rapid weed growth so the workload shifted from “watering” to “weeding”.

Ginger, mint, oregano, peppermint, purple hull peas, sweet basil, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and watermelons were among the herbs, vegetables, and fruit that were harvested during the 2014 growing season. All of these except the ginger, oregano, and mint were raised from seeds. Photos are included below.

Basil
Basil

Ginger
Ginger

Green Tomatoes
Green Tomatoes

Ripening Tomatoes
Ripening Tomatoes

Oregano
Oregano

Purple Hull Peas (Early)
Purple Hull Peas (Early)

Purple Hull Peas
Purple Hull Peas

Mint
Mint

Watermelons
Watermelons

Sweet Melon
Sweet Melon

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes Final
Sweet Potatoes (Final)



There was less success in growing cucumbers, dill, sage, thyme, and rosemary from seeds .The plants did appear out of the ground but did not survive. In the case of cucumbers, the plants were eaten while in bloom by the wildlife that live on the property. Vegetables and fruit  that  were placed in the ground as plants  including  cantaloupe, garlic, green onions, and white potatoes  did show some signs of surviving but were eaten my insects and/or the wildlife  or just failed to thrive . A green pepper plant did produce 1 small pepper and it still survives. The seeds  for  cabbage, corn, lavender, two different varieties of lettuce, mustard greens,  parsley,  pow pow berries,  radishes,  zinnias , and  turnip greens did not ever appear as plants. The photos as available are noted below.

Corn
Corn
White Potatoes
White Potatoes
Onion
Onion
Cucumbers
Cucumbers


Deer, the continuing wildlife challenge, were less troublesome this season because of the “deer proofing” of the property. The newest wildlife challenge is gofers. A gofer was spotted around 6 A.M.  Running back to its established underground tunnels from one of the garden areas. The animal appeared to weigh at least 10 lbs.  The primary evidence of the gofer was the two ripe watermelons that were chewed open and eaten.  The deer eat   the leaves of and trees so eating the watermelon cannot be blamed on them. The humane recommendations for controlling gofers include fences at least 3 ft. deep, planting daffodils which the animal dislikes, and filling the entrance to the tunnels with coffee grounds. These techniques supposedly make the gofer move on to another space, hopefully beyond the growing garden area.


There continues to be good success with growing flowers and flowering trees. The photos below highlight some of these beautiful plants and trees.

Pink Roses (Aug)
Pink Roses (Aug)
Red Roses (Aug)
Red Roses (Aug)
White Roses (Aug)
White Roses (Aug)
Crepe Myrtle (New)
Crepe Myrtle (New)
Crepe Myrtle
Crepe Myrtle



Our goal for next growing season is to improve on our success rate with all of the vegetables, herbs, and fruits experimented with during our second gardening season on the property.  The collards and marigolds are beginning to show signs of survival. It will be a beautiful end to 2014. Photos will appear in Installment #7.
 
As we enter the last quarter of the 2014 year, the soil test has been turned in for analysis to determine the need for soil amendments including lime, urea, phosphate, phosphorus, potash, and zinc sulfate. The planting areas are scheduled to be plowed in preparation for the next season of planting using our new equipment for both plowing and clearing brush and weeds sometime before the last frost of the year and  the freezing weather occurs.
 
Please see the “From Garden to Table” section on the website that was developed to showcase both the preparation and preservation of many of the above mentioned herbs, vegetables and fruit.