Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lettuce, Radicchio, and Anemones

Here we have a couple pictures of some late lettuce and radicchio that should be ready in a couple weeks for winter market.   The radicchio has taken awhile to head up, but is looking really nice.  It's so hard to figure out what to charge for radicchio as it takes much longer than lettuce.  We should have planted four times as much, but as we're in an amateur stage of farming (especially winter farming), we'll forgive ourselves.  The temps have been super cold lately with the last two nights being 23F.  We didn't rowcover our lettuce bed when it got down to 27F last week and we lost our romaine.  The middle of the stems ruptured and are now brown and pretty gross looking.  The other varieties held up, butterhead and two redleaf varieties.  We covered for the past two nights.  

Here is a picture of a presprouted anemone. It is my first time growing these so I have no idea how they'll perform. Seems a bit risky to have 60 ft. of them planted in our very valuable hoophouse space, but I come to this conclusion after having ordered them. Brilliant. The ranunculus we planted on Friday were a different variety than we normally grow (we got them from Ednie's) and they did NOT like the presprout treatment we gave them. We lost about half of them to some mold, and although we planted the other half, I feel like that may have been a mistake seeing as how they were probably all infected even if it wasn't obvious. I guess we'll see. The learning curve is a bit overwhelming. We're also concerned about how flowers are going to sell in our economy that is deflating. Hopefully people will need them as I do to brighten things up, but I think we may downsize some next season.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hoophouse Complete!

 Actually we still have to rig a system to roll up the sidewalls, but for the most part it is now finished! We had to have a few trusty farmer friends come over to help us pull the plastic over the house. Not only did they brave weather in the twenties, but they showed up at eight o'clock in the morning to help us beat the wind. Friends for life. All said and done, this house took about five eight hour days with two people to put up.  Cost for this house so far is around $5000 big ones.  Pricy, we know, but we now have around 2,250 ft. of growing space.  If we make 2.25 per square foot, then our house is paid for!!  I think I'm doing the numbers right.  This house has more square ft than the house we'll live in for the rest of our lives.  Crazy.    


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Third Day and Seven Things Me

I had to take a break from hoophouse construction yesterday because we had flowers to plant. black-eyed susans, yarrow, sweet william, snapdragons, and veronica all tucked into their neat winter beds.   Stuart and Gerard kept on trucking with it.  As I've been blog-tagged by Sarah from Saipua, I must face up to the challenge before me of describing seven facts about myself.
1. Sometimes I find I am intimidated by flowers. Pre-cooled tulips, calla lilies, elephant ears, coleus, delphinium, etc. The unknown character that lurks behind the facade of grace and elegance is so frightening. Until the first cut.
2. I think my life would be more fun if I could have this attitude
3.  My hair is turning white at a rapid clip.  I'm cool with it.  Stuart says he's cool with it.
4.  I wanted to shave my head in sixth grade and be a wrestler like my older brothers.  I'm glad that didn't work out for me.  
5.  I have a fetish for fabric even though I have no idea how to use a sewing machine.  I have an embarrassing amount tucked away for the day I miraculously understand how it all works.  
6.  I hate being cold.  Everyone says I look like an eskimo, but really, let's go with something more Indonesian.  
7.  I've never liked black and white films (with the exception of the Battle of Algiers).  I think I watched The Wizard of Oz at too young an age too often and the brilliance of the color switchover made me a lifetime hater of black and white.   Stuart makes fun of me, finding me quite unsophisticated just because I don't like boring old movies. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Women and Sledgehammers

Let it be known, I'm not a builder.  Putting up this hoophouse up is on par with shoving splinters under my nails.  Stuart doesn't allow me to talk while we do this, so I just pretend like I'm a convict guilty of stealing glances at the Prince Badeshaan as he disrobed before his afternoon bath.  Now I must work on constructing a hoophouse for the Prince's exotic collection of cacti that only bloom under the light of a full moon.    
Actually, the work isn't so bad.  It took us forever to get the site measured out correctly and properly leveled.  And then the sledgehammering began.   40 inch anchor posts down down down into the soil.  I have mixed feelings about wielding a sledgehammer.  My puny muscles shiver after about five whacks, but there is something magical to me, much like seeing Prince Badeshaan naked, about brute strength and feeling as if I too can be helpful in constructing something useful on the farm.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Signs of the times in NC

Oh yeah.  Even in Hurdle Mills.

Bluebird Meadows

All cleaned up for winter.

Second half of driveway almost complete! 

House site.  One day.

End of driveway.  View from house site.

Creek on property.