Posts Tagged ‘grains’

Just like everywhere else it seems, we are in desperate need of some rain.  Over the last couple of weeks we have gotten two or three decent showers, but before that it hadn’t rained since sometime in May, and even then it wasn’t much.  Looking back at last year’s post on the same subject, I can only think about what a big, whiny baby I was about it all.  Seven weeks without rain?  Puh-leeze.  Try 2+ months, you sally.  Although the little bit of rain we have had has certainly helped things along, we are by no means out of the mess yet and the clock is ticking.  There was practically no hay crop this year, and already I have heard of one person in the area who has had to sell off their cows, and apparently many more across the province are doing the same.   This is beyond sad, kids.  This is bordering on the tragic.  As you may well know, I live in a community of small farms, many of which have been owned and worked by the same family for generations.  I care about these people, some of whom are like family to me, and as a result I’ve done a lot less complaining about the garden this year.  It is, after all, all about perspective.  We’ve got a 90% chance of showers tomorrow, though.  If you don’t mind could you keep your fingers crossed for us?  I know a couple of dairy farmers who would sure appreciate it.

As for the garden, things are plugging along as good as can be expected.  Not everything is a complete downer, but I’ll start off with the “kill it with fire” things first so I can end on a high note.  I like doing that.

This is my cabbage patch.  Seriously, it is.  My poor, poor cabbages.  They look like someone took the weed whacker to them.  This year’s kraut may have to be outsourced, I’m afraid.

And this is why.  Flea beetles.  Roughly 8 bazillion of them.  The flea beetle population in my garden seems to be growing every year, and all of the stressed out, thirsty plants don’t stand a chance.  They’ve done a number on anything in the cabbage and radish families and I hate them.  You suck, flea beetles.

These are my zukes, or to be more precise, what’s left of them.  Stupid squash vine borders, you suck too.  I had the same problem last year.  Seriously, who can’t get a decent crop of zucchini??  Apparently me.

This broccoli is sad.  This broccoli is covered in flea beetles.  Flea beetles make me want to smash things.

Not everything is so pathetic, though.  There are some good things going on too.

I’ve got lots and lots of romas in the works.  Oh romas, you never fail me.  Except for that year with the blight.  But we’ll just forget that even happened.

Amish paste tomatoes, one of a handful of new heirlooms I’m trying out this year.  I’m not sure what to think of them yet, but so far so good.  Huge paste tomatoes, though not a lot on each plant, at least compared to the romas.

These are deseronto potato beans, an heirloom dry bean from the Tyendinaga reserve here in Ontario.  I’ve had a really hard time finding info about these beans, but they apparently predate Europeans in this country and are very rare.  I have a friend working on digging up some information for me, so we’ll see what she gets. In the meantime, they are producing awesomely.

We may actually get corn after all this year.  It was looking pretty sketchy for a while there, but the plants managed to get about 5.5′ tall before tasseling and are now making cobs.  Rain right now would be awesomesauce.

This is my malting barley.  I’m growing malting barley because I want to make beer.  I like beer.  I have one every week, on Saturday.

This is my regular, just for eating barley.  That makes it sound like the frumpy sister or something.  I believe the variety is Phoenix.  If you haven’t guess yet, I am experimenting with grains this year.  I only planted a little bit this year, mostly to see how threshing goes and to increase my seed stock on the cheap.  Why did I plant barley?  Why not, barley is awesome.  And I love saying barley.  Barley.  Barley.  Barley.

Marquis wheat.  You can’t get much more Canadian than this right here.  Developed  around 1903 by fellow Canadian Charles Saunders, Marquis wheat made up 90% of the 6.9 million ha of wheat planted in Saskatchewan by 1920 and ushered prosperity and development to the prairies and helped build this country. Reading about Marquis wheat is like a history lesson, but way cooler than anything you had to endure in high school.  One because you can actually grow this stuff, and two because you don’t have to sit beside that kid with the weird B.O.

My oats.  These didn’t come with a variety name, just that they are the hull-less kind.  This supposedly makes them WAY easier the thresh, but we’ll see.

And finally, one last thing.  We has apples!!  One of the original homestead apple trees has had a serious case of internal rot going on for pretty much my entire life, and tried to end its own misery by throwing itself onto the road.  It only half succeeded, and the remaining half of tree is producing big beauties by the bushel.  The remaining half is hanging precariously low and close to the house though, so I may have to cull them sadly back.

So that’s it from here, I got a little photo happy there but I did have a bit of catching up to do.  Hope you are getting rain where ever you are and your gardens are happy.  And if you’re growing something new and interesting this year, tell me about it!  Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s Saturday and about 8000 degrees here in the upstairs of my house.  If I can peel myself off this chair, I know where there’s a beer with my name on it. 🙂


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