Irrigation

Last summer was so dry it was all we could do to keep the few garden plots we had planted and the green houses watered.  The trees did not stand a chance.  So our fruit and nut trees are still alive for the most part, but they do not look like three year old trees.  The poor things are bearing fruit here and there but they are scraggly looking trees.  Our wind break trees are not looking any better and one set looks even worse because the cows saw something green and chomped away.

After much research and talking to many venders, Jon thinks he has the beginning of our irrigation issues solved.  So he and the guys have been working on getting the drip water lines installed.

irrigation 2

irrigation 3

irrigation 1

irrigation 5

irrigation 4

We have drip lines and water connections to all the fruit trees in the quinta.  Now we will focus on the pecans and almonds and wind break trees.  Only about 500 more trees to go before the hot weather comes. And then mulch. Lots and lots of mulch for the trees.

 

Garden Happenings 3

The garden plots in the quinta are doing their own thing.  We had planted a crop of wheat and a crop of rye grass thinking to cut and feed the animals over winter, but it didn’t decide to grow until now.  So we have been cutting it to feed the rabbits.

grass

garden plots 1

We cleaned part of a plot to get ready for the next.

garden plots 3

Roto tilled and then made planting rows in another plot.

garden plots 4

Continued to let the forage beets grow in this plot.  But currently we are picking them and feeding the pigs.

garden plots 7

The peas are growing nicely.  We are getting fresh peas for supper, enough for two.  Which is plenty because I don’t like peas. The canned peas available in the grocery store are rehydrated peas. So fresh peas are a treat for Jon and Megan.

garden plots 6

It is nice to grow our own vegetables and eat some things that we cannot get in the produce section.  We are still getting tomatoes and bell peppers from the green house. We only have a few spaghetti squash left from our stash and the garden plot for squash and melons is almost ready.

Garden Happenings 2

We made some planters right off the front patio with plans to have an herb garden.  So while we are waiting for some herbs to germinate and for the weather to accommodate others, we decided to plant the area and stop weeding it.  So Megan chose a few types of vegetables that might like semi shade and wind and roof water dew and planted.  Then the wind came and stayed along with the birds.  So netting went up.

house garden 1

Rosemary is the green clumps you can see along the edge .

house garden 0

house garden 2

Then the plants were large enough that we could take down the netting.

 

house garden 3

We have been able to harvest radishes and spinach from the beds.  We have peas and mint and parsley growing.  It has been fun to walk out the door and trim a few springs of rosemary for our lamb dinner.

Garden happenings 1

It is interesting to note how our daily, weekly, monthly plans change according to the weather.  We have lived in places that as long as we dressed for the weather and the activity, the weather did not stop us from doing things,  Well, as the weather changes, so do our activities. We had a warm dry winter and are now having a wet windy and sometimes cold spring.  Our plants are trying to thrive but the weeds seem to be succeeding better than our seedlings.

One of our green houses is our workshop.  We are trying to start seeds there and then plant them where they might survive the best.  Megan makes compost, then soil blocks, then plants the seeds, waters and waits. and waits and waters. and opens and closes green house doors to regulate the greenhouse temperature and ventilation.

greenhouse 4

greenhouse 2

greenhouse 1

greenhouse 3

The netting is to prevent the wrens from eating the tender shoots,  They are small birds and get through the smallest cracks and create huge damage.  When there is no pasture growing, the only green is in the green house.

greenhouse 6

With spring comes a new chance for new crops.

Planting, again

Never ending process, planting.  Megan now has all eight garden plots planted, or should I say in production.  Three plots have actual rows where specific items were seeded, the other five all have been scatter seeded with wheat or a combination of Rye grass and clover in an effort to have something to feed the animals this winter.  We have been putting up short stakes with rope to keep the dogs out.  It works well since last year it was electrical tape.  We have trimmed the walkway paths and we almost look like we know what we are doing.

garden plot 1

garden plot 4

garden plot 3

garden plot 2

Of course, we are also planting the green houses, so there is a lot of garden work to keep doing.

Tangerines

Even without a lot of water this summer, but with a lot of heat, we have tangerines on two of our citrus  trees.  This is the first of our citrus to produce.  The tree looks very scraggly to even support the fruit, but it did!  The tangerine was a little tart but delicious.

tangerines 1 tangerines 2

As with everything else on the farm, things are slowly happening.  Maybe next year we will see our lemons and limes.

 

Carob trees

Remember way back when Megan planted Carob Trees from seed into a two inch soil pot, then moved them to a small plastic planting bag and then finally into the soil at the fence line?  See carob trees from July 2014. The trees are slow growing, but even with our neglect, they are still alive!

carob tree

Look closely, there really is a tree in front of the post.

On average, our Carob are about 7 inches tall. 11 were planted in the garden, 10 are still alive. They are now two years old. Megan and Jon researched wind break trees VERY carefully and Carob were one of the few that were highly wind resistant, grew well in all types of soil, weren’t concerned about excess rain OR drought, and produced animal food. The only drawback was that they were slow growing and did not transplant well so needed to be started from seed for best succes. No one thought that they would be THIS slow to grow. So the back-up plan is to interplant a few of the more fast-growing windbreak options that will be cut down whenever the carob eventually get large enough to be a wind-break. Which could be a while.

Green house structures complete!

YEA all three green house structures are complete!  Each one is 750 square feet of planting space, complete with water access.  Megan has two green houses in the planting process and the third is being fixed as work space as well as a place to start seedlings.  Visible progress!

greenhouse 12

Green house number one is the closest with the door open, with two and three following up the incline.  The planting boxes are stacked outside the door on the right because we are working on the inside.

greenhouse 11

We are putting down the last of our packing paper on the ground and covering it with Tosca to keep the weeds down.  The workbench is in place, and Jon has dug the trench to bury the water line.  It is getting there poco a poco.