Thursday, June 20, 2013

Garlic Harvest 2013

We harvested the last of our elephant garlic this past weekend. Most of this was garlic that was grown from bulbs that we harvested the previous season. It was planted outside the high tunnels. We'll sell a little but most likely save most of it for next year's seed and use some for cooking.

Last of the garlic to be harvested this season.

The two photos below show the transition the garlic makes during its final week.

One week before harvest.

Day of harvest. This was planted in October 2012 on the east side of high tunnel #1. The drip irrigation was off during most of the winter months.

These bulbs will be hung to dry in one of the greenhouses for a couple of weeks before we separate all of it into this season's sellable bulbs and next season's seed.

Basket full of harvested garlic, including one rogue green onion for tonight's dinner.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pollinating Squash

Squash is one of the easiest and fastest vegetables to grow. There are many different varieties to choose from. Early in the season we transplant these to our high tunnels so that we can eat and sell squash by late April.

Squash plant with male flowers.
Squash is one of the earliest vegetable plants to bloom.

During the first part of the season natural pollinators may be somewhat scarce.

Squash plants produce both male and female flowers. To produce a squash vegetable, female flowers must be pollinated by a male flower pollen.

Hand pollinating squash.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer Harvest

This Summer our vegetable harvest has been "off-the-chart".  Between the adequate rainfall and honey bees pollinating everything the vegetables have begun to explode. Pat is picking twice a day and taking them out to the farmers market twice per week.

This is a sampling of the vegetables Pat is taking to the Gulfport farmers market. There is more in the front of the truck. She had 13 baskets of tomatoes.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Catnip & Squash Bugs

We've planted catnip and it grows shrub-like throughout the gardens on PJ Farm. Fortunately, according to Golden Harvest Organics, catnip deters squash bugs and flea beetles as well as a few other pests. We're testing it early this year to see if it will keep the squash bugs from moving into the squash plants. We'll try the tea method later when the flea beetles start attacking the eggplant. I'll update this post when we learn more.

Shrub-like catnip in our organic gardens.

Tub full of catnip cuttings destined for the squash plants.

We cut some of the catnip back and spread it among the squash plants near the root zone to deter the squash bugs from settling in.

Catnip spread along the roots of squash plant.
Aug 11, 2013 Update: This was our best squash season ever. The squash bugs seemed to leave the plants alone that we layered with catnip. The catnip started going to seed in the hottest part of the summer so we stopped cutting on it but the effects seemed to linger. We should have lots of volunteer catnip so I'll repeat this again next season and update this page.

Garlic Harvest

We began harvesting some of the garlic this weekend. The lower leaves were turning yellow on some of the plants and many of the smaller ones had completely turned brown.

Some of the leaves on these garlic have turned yellow.

Harvested garlic plants. That's an onion on the far right side.
These will have to be dried for a couple of weeks before we can take them to market. We'll pick the best looking and largest bulbs to replant in October.