Monday, August 1, 2016

Update on Farmer in Odell

It's August!  The month of the 5th Farm Crawl!  And we're in almost full harvesting mode here at Farmer in Odell.  Last week I harvested more green beans than ever before.  I didn't bother weighing them, but they filled more than two 13-gallon kitchen trash bags!  I canned 28 quarts of them, and froze 7 quarts.  This week will probably be slower on beans.  I hope.  I've dug up almost all the garlic.  I planted 3 varieties last fall, plus we obviously missed some last year because half of that patch had new garlic come up.  This picture is of our elephant garlic.  It's so incredibly huge!  I'm sorry, there won't be any for sale.  There were only 6 of them.  Garlic for planting is sold by weight, and since elephant garlic is so big, you get only a few when you order a small amount.  I hadn't thought of that back then.

Kale is looking good, just a little holey.  Beets are doing well.  Eggplant are just starting - I've picked two so far.  All three of these crops are going to Chicago restaurants through the Stewards of the Land LLC.  It's exciting to see more and more restaurants interested in using local, organic, chemical-free foods to serve their customers the healthiest food they can.

It's also the beginning of tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage needs picking, zucchini.  Winter squash and gourds are setting fruit.  It's a fun time to see the actual fruits of our labor, but there's a lot to try to keep up with.

Our place is a little out-of-sorts currently.  The gardens are large and were full (the earliest crops are harvested).  We tried to keep up, but then some of us went on a two-week mission trip to the Czech Republic.  And while we were gone it got hot and rained a lot, and what we saw upon returning was a little bit crazy.  Areas that had been fully weeded when we left were 1' deep in weeds.  We haven't recovered yet (since we have to be harvesting and preserving at the same time,) but I hope to get to that this week.  Mainly so I can find onions and eggplant!

We also have this tree still laying on the dog fence and trampoline:

The top two pictures show it the day it fell.  There was a big wind storm with some snow/ice that morning, and it turns out that tree was almost hollow inside.  We'd noticed last year that the bark was falling off, but didn't know it was so weak.  It destroyed the trampoline, and damaged the swing set somewhat.  We were happy at the time that it hadn't damaged the dog fence.  Had we gotten to it sooner, it wouldn't have, but over the past 6 months it has slowly sunk down and you can see in the bottom picture the fence is mushed and the trunk is nearly on the ground.  We had really intended to take care of it by now, but there have been many things this year that have continually pushed that tree to the bottom of the priority list.  I just hope it's gone before winter.

We're really looking forward to seeing everyone who comes to the Crawl this year!  Pray for good weather (a break in this humidity would be great), and safe travel for everyone.  Come on out for a nice, relaxing day on the farms.  See you on the 20th and 21st!

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