Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Farming 2012

This year's farming was miserable!  We lost a ridiculous amount of money.  We put in an acre and a half of onions.  Have you ever planted that many onions?  We had to pay workers, it was difficult of to find workers worth a d$#%, and they really did a crap job in places.  OK we made it past that.  The climate was awful and was perfect for weeds, but not so great for crops.  All the farms around us (and we are all organic) had the battle of our lives with amaranth.  Onions don't like competition.

The quality of our fertilizer was terrible.  We didn't discover this until 1/2 way through the season when our growth just wasn't adding up.  Chicken poop is now $100 a ton delivered from far away at a $250 freight charge!!!!!!!!  The onions were small when we discovered our neighbors got a virus on theirs.  Their field was just accross the street.  We prayed and fed our onions hoping for the best to no avail.  The virus jumped the road and arrested the growth.

By this time we were $$$$ into labor and fertilizer.  Maybe 1/30 of the onions were salable!  OUCH!!!!!!!!!  We tried harvesting them, gave up because it just wasn't cost effective and tilled them in.

We had HORRIBLE germination on the Delicata.  We stuck it out in the side field with them reseeding in blank spots.  They got fed and we managed to keep the weeds down with timely tractor cultivation.  Looking at the fruits out there we find that the genetics of the Delicata have been corrupted.  Fruits have the right coloring but 1/3 of them are incorrectly shaped, some of them around a foot long (?!). What's up seed breeders?!

Our white beets were a wonderful growing success.  Unfortunately the public just isn't familiar enough with them!  We can't seem to sell them to save our lives.  I am deeply saddened and discouraged by this.

My home garden has been a success EXCEPT for the deer.  They took a bite out of every melon, ate my beans, I never got a strawberry, and they trampled my cucs!

I had an excellent year on Romas with no blossom end rot.  Too bad I grew them so close to other tomatoes or I would save the seed.  My Brandywines all have something that causes a rotten spot on all of them ruining half the fruit??????? but I am using them for canning anyway removing the bad halves.

Apple harvests were great and I have put up quarts of pie filling and apple sauce for the year.  The Pear tree I discovered in the yard is INCREDIBLE.  I am drying them and making pear sauce galore.

I lost about 1/10 of my new orchard because of deer, but the rest seem to have made it, many flourishing.  I consider this our true success. We are looking at a farm plan that moves towards perennials since we work outside the farm and need a different type of crop and isn't fruit always salable?

JJ continues in his breeding projects and we are pleased with his progress.

Whew! It's almost over and we are looking forward to cover cropping.  I have learned a lot his year--mainly that I know VERY little about farming, but I am grateful for the lessons I was given.

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