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Thursday, June 30, 2011

More Picutures

From far away everything does not look like much but up close I am finally noticing things beginning to grow. It is definitely about time. Here are some of the pictures that I took today.

Red and some White Kohlrabi

A very beautiful orange Swiss Chard
Sadly this beautiful thing will probably most likely be gone tomorrow, since everyday more and more of my swiss chard keep getting eaten by either the rabbits or the deer or both.

Red Russian Kale to the right, and to the left some still smaller Dwarf Blue Scotch Curled Kale

Sadly one of my better looking basils, variety of which i forgot to figure out
My basils really took all the water issues and soil problems hard but are just now starting to move along, so at least there is hope.

A few rows of sad looking beans, four varieties yellow, green, purple, and striped varieties.
Hopefully they will start looking better now that they are no longer sitting in water.

Some still small but finally growing rows of bell and sweet peppers

One of many rows of once again small but finally growing zucchini and summer squash

Sadly this is one of my larger tomatoes, but as long as is can keep form raining the tomatoes will finally begin to grow and are looking better now. That being said, the bad news is we will not have any tomatoes for a little while now, but the good news is that we should eventually get tomatoes, which after the start of this year will make me very happy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Soil Problem Theory

Ok, so this year I have really been struggling with some major soil issues. Basically a nitrogen and phosphorus deficiency. So lately I have been doing a lot of reading about soil. So I came across a problem called nitrogen tie up, which basically occurs when organic matter decays and breaks down rapidly, in which it basically has to utilize the nitrogen in the soil causing the nitrogen to be unavailable to the plants. I read that this also happens with phosphorus and a few other minerals. I believe that since we have gotten so much rain it has caused the organic matter in the soil to break down much more rapidly than it would in a normal year. Since this is the first year that this soil is being planted in in a long time and some areas had a lot of grass, so there is a lot of organic matter that would be breaking down. I have also noticed that the areas that had the most grass when I was planting are also the areas that are the most affected. So I have started fertilizing with a liquid fish fertilizer that can be soaked in through the plants leaves hoping that it will give the plants a quick boost, which I am hoping will be enough to get them going until the whole organic matter break down process is done, and then the nitrogen and phosphorus should once again become available to the plants.

That being said everything is way behind, but I know I am not alone, many others are having similar issues. I was talking to someone the other day who is way behind due to the fact that their soil Ph was way off, which they have never had a problem with before, really I think they should probably test their soil nutrients also because they may have some issues there too. It seems as I look at peoples gardens they are either growing really really well or not growing at all. I think this year for most it is either a hit or miss, either you got lucky and have a great growing location and conditions or really unlucky like me.

I am still not sure what I am going to be doing about this weeks market at Valley City. I think I am going to have to wait till the day before to really make up my mind if I will be going or not. Right now things are just too unpredictable. My greens are just now starting to look pretty good and I really should have enough of them to be able to sell for this week, except today I noticed that some deer came by and ate about a whole 10 ft. section of some beautiful swiss chard pretty much to the ground, so if they liked it enough to come back for some more, and maybe even bring some friends I could really be in trouble.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pictures and Update

Ok, so these pictures don't look like much, but that is because there is not much to look at. Everything is way behind where it should be this time of the year. But hopefully things will be improving very soon. Of coarse we started off with all of almost continuous rain which pushed planting way back. Then about 2 weeks after planted had started I began to realize that things were just not growing like they should, and many plants were showing signs of soil deficiencies, I did a soil test and discovered the soil was very much depleted of nitrogen and phosphorus, not good. After finding out how bad this soil was I had really wished I would have sent in a soil sample (or even just tested it myself) before I had began planting. Anyhow, it is too late to worry about it. I fertilized everything and plan to fertilize again either tomorrow or Friday, depending on when the weather allows me. After the first time I fertilized I did see some improvements and hope to see lots of improvements after I fertilize again. And I have already been thinking about how to improve the soil for next year with manure and organic matter and possibly cover crop.

I am going to have to take some better, up close pictures of things once the get growing really well. But for now I just wanted to post some pictures, so these will have to do.
If you look closely you can just barely see some scallions up front and row of greens (kale, swiss chard, kohlrabi, and collards) behind them.

Rows of beans and to the left some sweet peppers.
This picture is about a week old so everything is bigger now, I will have to get a new better picture soon.


The Valley City Farmers Market should actually be starting this Saturday June 25th. Unfortunately as of today it does not look like we will be attending it. I hate missing a market day but we just do not have much to make it worth attending. I am thinking and really hoping that we should be able to attend the next market, and I will be sure to let everyone know.

What a terrible year, unable to attend a June 25th farmers market day because we just do not have anything to sell, so sad.

Monday, June 20, 2011

What you eat is very important to your health!

I have not posted in quite a while and I do have a lot that I have to post about. Since most of my main season crops are now in the ground and it has started raining again (makes it a little difficult to get anything done outside), I will have some free time now to get some posting in. Anyhow I figured that I will make this first post about something very important that I have been meaning to post about for a while now.

About a year ago now my best friend (I have known her since we were kids) started having a number of health issues. One of the more serious was she was having major muscle pain and tightening in of her muscles. It got so bad at one point that she was having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning and even putting on her socks would take her forever to accomplish since she her muscles were so tight she was unable to reach her feet. She was also having severe stomach problems in which it seemed as if everything she would eat upset her stomach. She also began to rapidly loose weight and most of her muscle mass. The list of problems went on and on.

So to make a long story short (for now at least, I am sure I will be posting more about this in the future). After quite some time she was diagnosed with a muscle disorder, which I believe is called dermatomyositis (an auto immune issue) and if that is not right it is something similar. Anyhow just before she was diagnosed we found some interesting information online about some people who had similar problems, to what she was having, and were able to return to good health by changing their diet. Anyhow over the past several months she has switched her diet many times and went to many different doctors. Until she found the doctor that she has been going to now, he is down in Columbus, so it is a drive but I think she would definitely agree that it has been well worth the drive. She has come a long way since she started going to him, she has been slowly gaining back the weight she lost, can now put on her socks again with out a huge struggle and her stomach is now beginning to heal itself. I am not sure what her doctors name is but as soon as I get the information form her, I will have to post it.

Ok, so after all that, on to the importance of what you eat. Basically all her issues come down to the fact that she has a gluten allergy that she has probably had her whole life, which was ignored and got way out of control, thus damaging her stomach and getting her whole body out of wack. Certain types of gluten in excess can be a very bad thing for a lot people and I believe that there are a lot of people out there overdosing on things like fast food (those hamburgers contain lots of fillers that just are not good for you) who are damaging their stomachs, many of which even know it and just deny it. I know people who eat fast food every day and complain about how their stomach bothers them all the time, you think they would realize why. It is what you are eating that is bothering your stomach and it is not something that should be ignored.

Since watching my friend go through what she did, It has made me think a lot more about what I am eating, I know it has not only changed her way of thinking about food, but I am sure it has also changed the way the the people around her think about food, I know it has for me.

My friend is now working on a blog of her own about everything that she has been trough, so that she can hopefully help other people out there with similar health issues. As soon as she is finished with her blog I will be sure to post the link here.

Anyhow, I have much more to talk about within the next couple of days and will have to post again tomorrow. I still have to let everyone know about how everything that is planted is growing, maybe complain again about this terrible weather that we have had so far this year. Also I have to talk about some exciting purchases that I made today, a food mill and a really awesome little meat grinder/mincer/pasta maker, I think it is the coolest little thing. It does not look like much but after trying it out it seems to work surprisingly well for a little thing, and best of all it was really cheap!