Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Crop update

Blackberries are going to be scarce for me this year. The blackberry patches I have been picking are playing out. Peaches are about 2 weeks out. Some are getting good color now. I am picking squash, cucumbers and beans. I am at the first of my eggplants. Some of my beans drowned due to the excessive rain. Just guessing, the specialty melons are about 4 weeks out. There is one watermelon variety that may be ready in 3 weeks . This is a picture from one end of the melon patch. I am trying 3 new melons this year. On the far left of this picutre, there are butternut squash. I have played with butternut in the past with out a lot of success but they are suppose to be easier than the acorn squash I had success with last year. This year I have changed varieties on acorn squash to one that is more decorative.

Shed Antlers

I found this set of shed antlers while picking blackberries yesterday. They were within 100 feet of where I hunted once this past season. In fact I have hunted that set of woods off and on for several years. The sheds were within 400 feet of the place I killed the 8 pointer that I figured was making all the tracks this past year. The drop tine is slightly more than 4 inches. First time I have ever found two sheds together. First time I have found a drop tine shed. And previously I have only found one shed that was even close to this in size. All in all, it made up for the fact that I didn’t get many berries.

Monday, June 15, 2009

White Cucumbers

These heirloom cucumbers where from seed saved by Clyde Faggart over the years. I have been saving these for about 6 years. My grandmother grew some that were very similar genetics and I think the ones offered by Johnny's Select Seeds are the same. These are not the same as the White Wonder sold in local stores. The simplest way to tell the difference is that these have black spines and the white wonder doesn't. Compared to regular cucumbers, these have a thinner skin and seldom have bitterness. They will have a slightly larger seed cavity than the newer hybrids but that isn't a problem particularly when picking them small. I use them fresh as snacks and also in salads. I also make Bread and Butter pickles with them. My uncle will freeze cucumbers but I just try to get a bait of them during the season and eat pickles the rest of the year.

Spring Box at Lingle Spring

Finally got the spring cleaned out enough to see the spring box. The right hand board is made out of oak while the other two are made out of poplar. The aze marks are still visible on the bottom board. Suprizingly it is still white colored after all these years. When poplar is exposed to air, it will typically turn brown in less than 5 years. I measured the temperature and it read 64 degrees. Not refrigerator cold but refreshing on an 85 degree day. There is evidently a board missing on the end. It won't hold the water as deep as it needs to. I am going to add a couple of boards and see how it works.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A dry year will scare you but a wet year will starve you

My peach crop is looking great this year. It is a small crop because of the cold 14 degree weather right after the snow and 3 frost events. The up side of that is there was almost no thinning. I did spend about 3 hours at it but that is a small amount of time compare to what could have been. It has also been difficult keeping things sprayed. I have increased my spray frequency. Once I spray later this week, I will have two extra sprays above what I consider normal. Right now I am planning to have my peaches at the Harrisburg, Winecoff (Saturday), Hospital, Midland, Concord and Research Campus Market.
I picked a cherry tomato on May 31 this year. First time I have every ripened a garden tomato in May. It lacked a day or so from fully getting ripe but that would have put it in June so I went ahead and picked it and cooked it in an omelet. This weekend I will have a good supply of squash but will basically be out of the broccoli business for another year.
I have lost most of the plums due to the various frosts and lost most of the cherries due to the excessive rains.

Lingle Spring

As I continued to clean out the spring, I have found a trough set in the spring branch that is about 4 inches high and about 10 to 12 inches wide. The bricks in the picture are the top layer. I have felt down to 8 layers.