Sunday, August 3, 2014

Beach Farm Bye Bye

By the time you read this we'll have completed our 1250 mile drive, in our twenty two year old van with cat in tow, to Hennepin County, Minnesota. I'll blog from there when I get the chance -there's been a lot of rain there, so I'm expecting August mushrooms. Also, I got a replacement Olympus XZ-2, just days before the price went back to $599 (double what I paid, but then I had to buy it twice!). Today was the first day the camera got out of the house and I am very happy to be able to occasionally disappear into photography during our time in Minnesota. 

It's hard to believe our two plots were all garlic only three to four weeks back. I haven't seen the beach farm since then, when all the garlic was pulled and buckwheat seed planted in the newly empty space. 

Our new plot is kinder to warm weather vegetables than it was cool weather garlic.

I've let the bulbing fennel bolt. Just haven't been around for a proper harvest.

I'm amazed at the size of the Swiss chard stems -like baseball bats, believe me they are bigger than they look here. The leaves are gigantic and we can't harvest them fast enough. The weather has been chard perfect. These were started from fairly old seed, too. Good to know not to throw those out too soon.

Let the cilantro bolt -that is the plan. Took me years to figure out how to cultivate cilantro and the answer is to plant seed, hope for the best, and should it sprout and grow then allow it to self seed and it will hardly ever require replanting.

Some lettuce has bolted and I'm wondering if it will seed itself and true.

I wanted the other plot to rest after years of cultivation, so I planted what amounts to probably too much buckwheat. It's growing like mad now, necessitating a weeding along the edges of the row of vegetables I planted three weeks ago.

On one end, basil.

On the other, Japanese eggplant.

And the middle? Sweet peppers.

Without much tending other than a few applications of organic fertilizer 5-5-5, they seem to be doing okay. Some have begun flowering and fruiting.

 The sea of buckwheat should grow another foot or two.

And threatens to swamp a random tomato plant and the row of vegetables. Buckwheat is a vigorous grower, used not only as a green manure when turned it, but also to keep weeds in check by shading them out. Of course, some eat the seeds and some the flowers. Not me, however, not me.

We have some green tomatoes, although all my neighbors have red. After all, we planted in July, after the garlic was lifted, and hope tomatoes will be ready when we return from Minnesota.

Nothing special this year (general 'plum,' 'beefsteak' and 'cherry') as I bought only from Larry's, although there may be an heirloom or two in the plots that have volunteered from the prior year.

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