The Milkweed Diaries

Sunday, March 28, 2010

On Fullness

Onion seedlings

Life has been incredibly full since the beginning of 2010 - and consequently my posts here at the Milkweed Diaries have become become woefully sparse.

My Real Job (working with nonprofits and political campaigns) has been at full throttle since the first week of January, a rude awakening after a relatively sleepy 2009. I'm not complaining though: income is a wonderful thing.

Adding to the fray, I worked as a cook at a Permaculture Design Course in south Georgia for two weeks last month, sharing kitchen duties with my kitchen co-conspiriator and dear friend Puma, cooking three meals a day for 30-60 people using local and regional in-season foods. Though I didn't blog about this Great Cooking Adventure, I did chronicle the experience on facebook.

And then there's Red Wing Farm, our homestead garden that has very quickly grown to market-garden proportions. We're selling at two tailgate markets this season, hosting our first farm interns this summer, teaching classes on the farm, and ramping up our production fast and furious with an eye toward both Christopher and me being able to quit our day jobs.

Lettuces, mustards, and kales growing in the unheated hoophouse

Homemade heat table for seedlings (salvaged lumber + gravel + heat tape) with tatsoi & bok choy growing in a raised bed underneath

Christopher has been in non-stop construction mode, building the first section of our duck and goat barn, a heat table for our hoophouse, and various other structures and contraptions, and I've been prepping beds, making soil blocks, and planting seeds. Thousands and thousands of seeds. And stepping up plants. Thousands and thousands of plants.

Tomato seedlings


Our Starting from Seed class planting peas in the garden

Life is good. And full.

So apologies in advance, dear readers, for the less frequent posts in the next few months. I promise to post images as often as I can of what's going on on the homestead, in the garden, and in the kitchen.

You can also follow Red Wing Farm on facebook, where I'm posting more frequent albeit briefer updates.

In the meantime, here are some images of recent goings on at the farm...Happy Spring and good gardening to all!


Aimee said...

awesome! You go!

Anthony said...

Hey, I ran across your blog on accident. I was looking for things to plant with black beans. I want to grow Aztec Sweet Corn and Black Beans with another crop or two that might have mutually beneficial properties. I live in a mediterranian climate in California.

I am aware of the holy trinity of maize, squash, and beans, but I was hoping to be more creative Do you have any suggestions? Even with something you may not have tried yet, but sounds good in theory Awesome blog by the way!

Milkweed said...

Thanks, Aimee and Hello Anthony!

I've had good results with companion planting just winter squash or watermelon with beans. Last year we had great results with an interplanting of butternut squash and the Cherokee trail of tears beans - the squash just did its vigorous growing all season long, spreading all throughout the bean beds and making squash, and when we had harvested most of the beans and could pull down the bamboo trellises, it revealed a bunch of big fat butternuts.

Sunflowers are good poles for beans, too...and I've always thought that growing brassicas underneath would be a good idea since they benefit from a little shade in the heat of summer when beans are hitting their stride, and since they are also are heavy feeders that would enjoy the nitrogen-fixing properties of the beans. Haven't tried it yet, for some reason. I say experiment and let me know what you discover....