Alfred Reed Bishop and Doris William Butler

The picture above is the very tap root of Bishop's Homegrown/Face Of The Earth Seed. My grandparents shortly after moving to Pekin Indiana from Greensburg KY in 1947 where they purchased the farm that is now Bishop's Homegrown. This picture was taken in Pekin in front of the old co-op next to the old railroad depot, neither of which exist today.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A few (not anywhere near...) spring (wishful thinking) updates!

I've used the past couple days of warmer weather to get a jump start on farm activities before the spring thaw (doesn't it have to freeze first?) sets in. Mostly I've focused on getting the greenhouse cleaned up after letting it go to weeds last summer and prepping the old goat pen for a new garden this year.

Here is the goat pen as it was after I moved the goats. The goats have been in this enclosure for about 3 years so there is a great layer of cold composted organic matter accross the ground. I added several five gallon buckets of wood ash and worm compost to the top of the soil by hand.

I then proceeded to turn with a soil fork. All that's left now is to add a thin layer of nitrogen (since goat manure is low in nitrogen) which is accomplished easy with a minimum of physical effort by simply luring the turkey and duck flocks into the enclosure and feeding them scratch grains accross the surface of the pen and then enclosing them for the day for a period of a couple of weeks. By the time planting time comes along the pathogen issue should be well taken care of and the usable nitrogen level should be acceptable. I always ask myself this; Why bust ass if you don't have to?

I did fire up the hotbed we built last year to make sure the heating element was still working ok and to prepare for starting onions and long season hot peppers in the coming days. All was good to go so I went ahead and built a box fram accross the top to help hold up the plastic this year as the condensation on that sheet of plastic last year was more than enough that a few mornings I came out and the plants were laid out flat due to the water collecting on the plastic. Somewhere around here I have some grow tunnel hoops that I need to affix to the box to help support the plastic and get some more light penetration, if I can dig them out in the coming days I may go ahead and do that.

I've still got to get the rest of the propigation equipment sterilized and the floor swept and ready to go but at least all the tables and equipment is in place and still functional for yet another year. As you can tell the greenhouse isn't much of a "commercial" destination, just one for utilitarian commerce and production of good plants. Nothing fancy here, just usable and functional.

Being the scavenger of materials that I am I long ago canibalized the cinder blocks and the hog pannels that I bought with the greenhouse and used for tables for years in order to make trellis systems for blackberries and raspberries and beans exct. Instead these days, as with most other things I build that don't have to be permenant, used pallets do the trick.

Finally, just for fun a pic of the turkey and duck flocks respectively.

1 comment:

Cally said...

Hi, I just stumbled upon your blog and was delighted by the photo's, tour grandparents, your uncle with his huge squash, the white blackberries and many coloured corns.

Clearly you have a wealth of knowledge so I was wondering if you might add your garden to Folia the online gardening website (it's free). I'm always looking to encourage more gardeners to join and am having an extra push this week while the weather is keeping most people indoors.

It's a great resource for gardeners and has helped me keep on top of my 800+ plantings with photo's, notes, journals, milestones etc. They have an extensive plant wiki and a seed stash section where people can also list seeds for swapping. Here's the link to my Folia page so you can see how it works: