Saturday, June 27, 2015

Life gets in the way...

So, I posted a grand plan to write everyday, and failed in short order.

OOPS, forgot that I had a JOB and KIDS with needs, and a farm to run and a marriage to maintain, and friends, and... oh, and that we are at that 7.5 year point in our home when everything we fixed when we moved in BREAKS! 

That said, things have moved...slowly...forward.  So, here is an update.

The pottager is filled and doing well.  (Thanks Mark for help weeding!)

The other side of the pottager (which was supposed to be trees and perennial food plants has been reworked into an annual food garden because the trees failed to thrive in this spot.   Maybe later when we have built better soil.

The herb garden is rocking.  have basil, rosemary, several different thymes, sage, stevia, chives, dill, oregano, lemon balm, cilantro,lavender, and lemon balm.

Sunflower wall, pumpkins, and a border of marigolds are jumping up with all the warm rain.

We expanded the garden below the sunflowers.  It now has lots of trees, and perennial food plants like strawberries.

The animal barn has been converted into a picnic area.   Still working on tables, benches, lighting. and drainage....(this month of rain has taught us a lot about our land.)

The Hopkin Boys helped me move a few stones to finish the edge of the driveway.  Gravel is next.

The barn is still there, standing like the large pink elephant in the middle of the room.  At this point the planning of "Save the barn" part 2 is underway.  (if you are interested, follow our progress on this site, or if you want to help, send me a message ... roberts.ecofarm  at gmail  dot com.)

More to come soon.  

Enjoyed having the Hopkin clan use us as a base.  We got a lot out of it, hope you did too. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Kitchen garden part too.

Scanner is down so my maps of gardens will have to wait till tomorrow.  in the works are the herb garden, a cucumber tunnel, and all the other kitchen stuff that didnt make it into the salad garden.

Writing every day is HARD.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Garden Planning - pottager - salad garden

I'm late in my garden planning, but I'm at least doing it this year.  In years past, the only planned thing has been either long term crops (garlic) or big projects (popcorn and pumpkins in a three sisters garden).  This year is different.  We are trying to feed ourselves.  So, planning is key.  First garden plan.  The kitchen garden in the pottager.  We built a pottager garden about 5 years ago and have used it extensively for our food since then.  This year we are expanding into a failed perennial space and really focusing the pottager on immediate use.  The garden will have three parts, the herb garden, the salad garden and the kitchen garden.  The salad garden this year will be an intensive project, aimed at providing salad and cooking greens year round.  I have a 10 by 10 space that I will divide into 20 spaces with compost mulch paths between.  I'll grow spinach, kale, chard, various lettuces, mustard, peas, radishes, beets, carrots, scallions, and a cherry tomato.  Everything will be instant use, rapid rotation.  Tomorrow I will post the map of the pottager salad garden and explore the pottager kitchen garden. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Charcuterie - A new skill to learn for 2015

Feeding ourselves from the farm is one of our main goals for 2015.  We have many of the pieces in place to do this, but there are some things we need to add and some new skills to learn to make this really work.  Charcuterie (the craft of salting, smoking, and curing) is one of those skills. 

Last year we raised 2 pigs on pasture.  First time for us here at The Roost.  We learned a lot, and the whole process went better than expected.  Now we are enjoying having a freezer full of pork.  BUT... we still find ourselves going to the store to buy pepperoni, salami, and other cured meats.  There are many types we cant get easily here in our part of the world.  We have been pleased with our meat processors smoked bacon and ham, but we want more types and more control that they can give us.

This year we are planning on 4 pigs.  Two for family, and two for us.  To make the most of our two pigs, and of other meat we will be producing we will be adding some additional infrastructure (a smoker, and a drying room) and a new set of skills to the mix.  First in our resource list for this project is this book


There are some blogs, podcasts, and other sources that I also like and will feature later.  More on this as we get further into the adventure.


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