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DaisyPatch Farm

As I mentioned here, Mr. Potatohead, our patron saint of potatoes, will be modeling each variety of potatoes we grew this year. Behold, Cranberry Red potatoes.

Yes, he is sitting in cranberry sauce.

Credits:

Producer: Jenn Gorius Gosselin, DaisyPatch Farm

Co-Producer: Erica McAllister

Costuming: Jenn Gorius Gosselin, Erica McAllister

Photography: Erica McAllister, Jenn Gorius Gosselin

Lighting: Jenn Gorius Gosselin, Erica McAllister


DaisyPatch Farm.  Mr. Potatohead (our patron Saint of potatoes) has decided to model each variety of the potatoes we grew this year. Our niece, Erica (@EmikoRay on Twitter and blogging at http://ericamcllstr.blog.com/ ) helped with the production.

Behold, Russian Banana Fingerling Potatoes (we found the texture to be very creamy. Excellent for homefries!)

Credits:

Producer: Jenn Gorius Gosselin, DaisyPatch Farm

Co-Producer: Erica McAllister

Costuming: Jenn Gorius Gosselin, Erica McAllister

Photography: Erica McAllister, Jenn Gorius Gosselin

Lighting: Jenn Gorius Gosselin, Erica McAllister


Our garden sucks this year. The squash has been eaten, so I planted some more. That was eaten. The tomatoes are still only 6 inches high – they just aren’t growing. Lettuce was a short season – it went from cold to HOT! and it bolted very quickly. The strawberries were flavorless and the peas were non-existant. Beans are coming up, thankfully. Basil is weak. Garlic is getting harvested tomorrow. Keith’s hot peppers are just as big as when I moved them outside over a month ago. Potatoes are going to be our biggest crop. I did a new style of planting area and I think it will really work for them. Pictures coming soon, fingers crossed.

 

Needless to say, we’re a bit bummed out. It was a gray spring and has been a wet summer and not much really took off. Waah, enough of that. I might go to the garden center and *shudder* buy a big tomato plant. I started San Marzano and Black Plum and was hoping to see the fruits of those labors.

 

On another note, Pinchy, the limpy chicken is out and about. Her limp is slight, but still there. She is getting picked on, but not as badly as I had feared. Stay tuned!


Per the ever so scientific method of weighing oneself holding the box and then weighing oneself without the box and noting the difference, we have just stored 15.2 pounds of potatoes in our root cellar. I think that is exciting. When I first harvested them, I was disappointed. There didn’t seem to many. But now I recall that the seed potatoes we purchased didn’t even total 1 pound. That is quite a haul. Again, our biggest problem this year was that they went dry. Apparently my ingenious method of taking chicken wire, securing it into a short barrel with zip ties and planting potatoes in soil causes too much air circulation around the roots and they dry out quite a bit. We had a very dry summer, so that didn’t help. I’m going to try another way next year. Keith has some ideas.

So far, the Chieftains did the best, with the Russets pulling in close second. The Russian Banana Fingerling were sort of growing on the side of the house and I pulled the plant up and popped it in a planter, so that was the lowest yield, as we only started from one plant.

I will definitely grow both the Chieftains and the Russets next year.

I just had to Google “Storing Potatoes for the Winter” and so have them layered between newspaper in a cardboard box and laid up against, but not quite touching, the cement wall in the cooler part of the basement where no windows are facing. Hopefully they’ll stay cool and dry there and not cause any rot.


Jerry the Rooster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Blonde Bitches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I haven’t blogged in a while and have this feeling of guilt about it that I can’t shake. I can’t say I’ve been busy, really, I just have been focusing on other things.

The summer has flown by and we’re looking at Labor Day. What the hell? Instead of updating you, my gentle readers, on what I’ve done this summer, let me tell you what I haven’t done…

  • Weeded
  • Put a fence around the garden to prevent the bunnies from eating all my green beans

I loved those fresh green beans. Stupid bunnies. Or groundhog, or chickens, or whatever creature ate them to the nub. Curse you.

Chickens are having fun hanging out in the back yard. And the front yard. And the side yard. And in the neighbor’s yard. And the other neighbor’s yard. Sheesh. We’ll probably get a call next week from Betty’s Kitchen letting us know that the flock is in line for a diner seat. I have to admit, I really like owning chickens. They aren’t laying eggs yet. I don’t care. They are so funny. They put their heads really low to the ground when they run.  Hilarious. They make funny noises too. Jerry is the loudest. Not only does he crow, he just sort of mumbles a lot. He and the three blonde bitches (the Buff Orpingtons) are troublemakers and are always in the neighbor’s yard.

We expect eggs next month. I’m looking forward to recovering some of our investment. Now that there are 12, they go through a bale of pine shavings and a bag of feed (we use the organic stuff, so it’s more $) each week, plus about 3 pints of blueberries and 4 ears of corn. I think they ate all the bugs in the yard which is why they are going next door.

The garden is great (except for the green beans). Here’s what’s growing:

Potatoes: 3 varieties. We harvested the Yukon Gold and ate most of them with my Dad that very same day. Deelish!

Pumpkins

Golden Nugget Squash

Delicata Squash

Zucchini

Tons of herbs

Asparagus (first year, but hey, it’s alive!)

Tomatoes – 4 varieties

Cucumbers – will not quit

Watermelon – there are 2 and they are teensy. We hope to harvest before frost

Carrots – Yeah, I kind of went to town here. I planted a row each week of 6 varieties for 4 weeks. We have over 300 I would imagine

Parsnips

Beets

Kale (for the chickens, you KNOW we HATE Kale)

Red Onion

**

What’s GONE

We harvested 45 bulbs of garlic 3 weeks ago

The lettuce, arugula and spinach are done. I will be planting more next weekend for the Fall

Green Beans

 

Happy Labor Day.

 


So, the tomatoes aren’t ours, and the eggs aren’t ours (yet), and the blue cheese isn’t ours, but who cares? The lettuces, arugula and pansies are ours. I didn’t plant pansies this year, but they re-seeded and are growing on their own. The greens were planted in September and kept under the frost blanket all Winter. We put this little dish on the side of the Orange-Sesame Pork Chops that Keith made, added a baked potato and a glass of wine, and declared it a fantastic dinner!

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We have eBay and Amazon gift cards just burning holes in our pockets after Christmas. What to do? What to do? Wii games? Books? Wolf urine? UFO Detector (Only $149.95! Bargain if you ask me!) Nope. Keith has been looking up tumbling composters. (Although I may have to send him that link for the UFO detector. Oh the fun we would have!) I have been using a composting bucket in the kitchen for years. I line it with eco bags from Gardener’s Supply catalog. When it is full, I fling it into the pile outside. The problem is, the pile gets sort of nasty in the Winter since the weeds aren’t covering up the stuff I throw down there.

There are all types of composters. Tumbling ones that turn with a crank, bins that sit side by side, rolling composters. So many choices, we’re like kids in a candy store (only it’s a website and we’re middle-aged.) (Ugh! Really? I guess yeah, we are. Damn.) We have been putting off buying one for a few years now because of the cost. Some are over $200. Then, I did the math on how many bags of compost I purchased to keep mounding over the potatoes, not to mention the guilt I felt by adding all those plastic bags that contained the compost to the landfill, and I think we’ll bite the bullet this year and are glad to have the gift cards.

With the use of the compost bucket in the house (into which I put paper towels too), and the fact that we recycle as much as we can, (and, ok, I will admit it, I have been known to wash, dry and reuse ziploc bags. I’m not cheap! I just can’t live with putting them in the landfill) we usually don’t have that much garbage. They really only need to come every 2 weeks to pick up the trash. Now our big decision is, what kind to get.

Exciting, right? I swear sometimes, I just can’t stand how thrilling this all is. Tune in next time for the continuing stoooooooory (of a cat, who’s gone to the dogs. PLEASE tell me you got that. Please. Poor Mark Hamill. So typecast.)


(Catchy title, but I’m not talking about the Grateful Dead…RIP Jerry)

Here’s my end of the season haiku…

The season just bit

We started a ton of plants

Most of which have died

So, here I am, a garden blog writer, and I feel like our garden just sucked this year. Now, I understand, the title of our blog is, “Learning to fend for ourselves” and I don’t admit to knowing it all. As a matter of fact, many a gentle DaisyPatch reader has commented with excellent advice because, well, we needed it (and for that, we thank you). Here I am, looking back on our crops and thinking, “Damn, there isn’t much in the pantry and/or freezer.” Actually, let me tell you what’s in the pantry and/or freezer.

Garlic 

Potatoes (not very many)

Carrots

Hot Peppers

Husk Cherries

Strawberries

Tomato sauce (not much)

2 F***ing Pumpkins.  TWO!

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Here’s what’s happened to the rest of the crops:

Lettuce – That was a good crop

Beans: Dead

Peas: I enjoyed them for a while, but there weren’t very many

Shallots: Good, but only a few

Cilantro: Didn’t make it

Butternut squash: Dead

Acorn Squash: Dead

Edamame: Dead

Sugar Pumpkins: Dead

Weeds: Still our best crop

That’s it. There are some herbs I need to harvest and dry, but all in all, we didn’t have a successful season. We ate tomatoes as we harvested them, but a lot of them went to crap. So, what does this mean for our future gardening plans? I have to admit, I don’t know. Yes, we plan on planting things. The lettuce, arugula and spinach have been planted, as well as the spring carrots and I plan on planting more garlic and shallots in the next week or so. We will not be planting tomatoes next year. That is sort of a shame, but we don’t have much choice.

I am unsure about squash. I mean the 2 F***ing Pumpkins are cute and all, but they took up a lot of room. I want more variety next year. Just more things in general. We’re taking suggestions. If they could be mildew and fungus resistant, that would be helpful. No brussels sprouts please.


I just added RSS (Really Simple Syndication) in the right hand column of my site so you can stay up to date on new posts and comments via RSS, or by email (or just by visiting the site daily because you love it so much!) Your choice. I’m unsure what took me so long. Oh, I know, I was in the garden. It was Really Simple (awful, awful attempt at a play on words. I’m ashamed of it, actually). (Yet, still did it, what does that say?) Have a great weekend.

Stay tuned, we’ll be harvesting potatoes this weekend and Mr. Potatohead is coming back for a guest appearance.


It has been a long time since I wrote a haiku. Here we go…ahem…

Fragrant garlic scapes

Unsure how to cook with you

Had no luck before

When we were part of the CSA (that failed experiment I’ve mentioned before), we were introduced to garlic scapes. They are the flower and stem of a garlic bulb that farmers remove so that the plant directs its energy toward the bulb and not the flower. The bulb is the goodness (but I know I don’t have to tell YOU that, gentle reader). Anyhoo, the CSA sent us home with scapes for a few weeks in a row with mentions of, “Garlic Scape Pesto, mmmmmm.” Well, I tried to make that. The scapes were sort of grainy, even, dare I say, woody. They were still green, but, well, stiff and no matter how much I boiled or sauteed them, I didn’t like the texture of the pesto. It was like eating pasta with flavored, green wood shaving sauce. (I have this texture-thing with food. Bamboo shoots, for example, have been invented by Satan to ruin my food with their grainy, crunchy grittiness. Ewww. Putting fruit chunks in ice cream is equivalent, in my book, to boiling live kittens. Wrong. Very wrong. And gross. Powdered mashed potatoes…you get my point.)

So, the garlic scape pesto was inedible. Here we are and it is garlic scape season. They’re patiently sitting in the fridge, waiting to be transformed from deliciously garlicky flavor-sticks (they smell fantastic, like a combination of pea pods and super mild garlic) into something edible.

First, here’s the process of procuring a garlic scape.

Step 1. Notice the garlic scape.

Step 2. Cut and save the garlic scape.

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Step 3. Use the garlic scape. This is where I’m lost. I need to do some hunting for recipes. If you have one. Please share. If I find any that work, I will post them.