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Ketchup, catsup, catch up...part III

Posted 7/24/2012 12:31pm by Tom & Linda Schwarz.

Aloha, friends! Here I am with some more catching up since I'm sick and can't do much out at the farm. Let's all give my gallbladder a round of applause...

This summer we bought a John Deer Gator (shown below) which is basically a tiny little pickup with no doors or walls...or air conditioning. But it's REALLy great for getting around on the farm. We can put our vegetables in the back and cart them over to the pack shed, which is REALLY nice especially if you're picking cucumbers or tomatoes or something heavy like that.

Below you'll find some of our lettuce mix from this summer...We've now got 3 labels that we use for lettuce. "Mixed Lettuce" is what we use on large leaf lettuce. "Baby Leaf Lettuce" is the smallest kind of lettuce. We try to keep the leaves 5" or shorter. Anything in between the two is "Spring Mix." Now if you see these different labels, you know that basically it's the same varieties of lettuce, just different sized leaves.

This year, we are experimenting with a few things. Mom really wanted to grow some chickpeas, so we made a short little bed next to one of the greenhouses and did an experiment. We poked holes (with the blunt end of a sharpie), planted the chickpeas, watered them, and hoped they'd come up. A lot of them did! This is a picture from a while back:

Another experiment this year has been my all time favorite fruit: The WATERMELON. Below is a picture of my first watermelon baby. Sadly, this one did not make it, but we have PLENTY more growing like weeds. I picked one the other day but haven't had a chance to eat it. I'll let you know when I do if they are ready...YUM.

NEW this year we have Goldie and Sun Gold tomatoes. They are both yellow-orange grape/cherry sized tomaotes. Word on the street is they're pretty fantastic. Ignore the 4 oz label, the reality is more like 6-12 oz depending on the packaging. If you want to "try before you buy" you can find samples of these little darlings at the Chatterbox Cafe on Minor Avenue in Bertrand, NE.

Last but not least (for now anyway) is this photo I took earlier in the summer of a moth that we found near the greenhouses. I don't know what it is for sure, but it was ginormous (obviously). Anyone who can identify it gets some free tomatoes. Insects and weeds are part of the reason a lot of farmers choose not to farm organically, but most of the insects on our farm are actually beneficials, which mean they kill the bad bugs. So, in the summer, at least, our insect population largely manages itself. We do have to spray some organic pesticides to control things like caterpillars on our tomatoes, but generally the bugs and organisms in the soil take care of themselves and reach a sort of equilibrium. The weeds, on the other hand, are still pretty annoying. Especially bindweed, which has been pretty nasty this year. But let's not focus on that. Let's focus on the pretty moth creature:


Well folks, that's all for now until I can upload some more photos to the website. Until then, stay cool and make sure you drink lots of water. This summer has been pretty HOT and DRY.




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