Vegetable Gardening

RadioactiveHorse For the last couple of months, I’ve been taking the Livestock Advisor course that’s sponsored by Washington State University. The concept of the course is to get a broad overview of training about all types of agricultural livestock; and then to give back to the community by sharing this information in a variety of volunteer opportunities. I’m enjoying the courses, though they are a bit more basic than I’d hoped. But, you always pick up something from a class, and I’ve learned a few new things.

Last week, we traveled to WSU to do a whirlwind tour of all of their agricultural facilities.



We had a corn patch all rototilled and ready to go late May, when the soil was warming up. But then we had the excavators come; and ended up deciding to put a driveway there. So, corn planting was up in the air for a while. (more…)


We are starting to get some nice garden produce already. Our lettuce is bountiful, and tonight we enjoyed both English peas and sugar snap peas. Fresh off the vine, they were delicious (more…)


Our garden beds are looking pretty good. We have pole peas that are already about three feet tall, and blooming. Carrots, beans, lettuce, green onions, cilantro, and Brussels sprouts are all coming in well. I just got in from weeding and fertilizing everything this morning. We also have potatoes planted on the sandy hillside, looking nice; along with strawberries and tomatoes. (more…)

gardenbeds1We’ve been working on our new garden beds for the last several months. Kirk built these three raised beds using barn wood- these are floor joists from the second story. Though the boards have some damage, they are so thick, they should still last another 100 years!

We considered having topsoil brought in, but ended up using what we have here. Kirk scooped up soil outside of the barn, which was mostly made of old barn waste (manure + whatever else was in there  years ago).  Later I mixed in sand, which we also have in streaks throughout our property. Lastly, I added most of the layers of straw bedding from the ducks’ A-frame shelter, which had been composting since last fall.

I rototilled all this in. A lot of rocks ended up coming with the barn waste soil, as I think that manure was on top of what was originally a rock driveway; and in some places, we dug a bit too deep when scooping it up. So, we hand-picked as many rocks as we could. It looks pretty good, I think it will perform well.

We’ve planted peas, beans, artichokes, carrots, parsley, cilantro, brussel sprouts , green onions and lettuce. Many things are sprouting already. We plan to add some potatoes too. Kirk has also been making some terrace gardens on the hillside, and those contain tomatoes and strawberries.

We also plan on putting in a corn patch on top of the pen where the sheep stayed during flooding and lambing. We need to rototill that first! We’re keeping an eye on our neighbors, the Stockers, to see when they plant their corn. Ed Stocker, aka the “Corn King,” takes the temperature of the soil before choosing when to plant. He says that if you plant before it’s warm enough, the corn seeds just rot in the ground. They haven’t even plowed their corn field yet, so they must think it’s a ways off before it’ll be warm enough!

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