We are already well into spring now here at the farm. We are harvesting onions and starting to harvest the first of the yellow finn potatoes. We have loads of not quite ripe tomatoes on the plants in the greenhouse and on the plants outdoors and expect to have ripe tomatoes in a couple of weeks. The peppers are just starting to set fruit now, so it will be several weeks before we have peppers ready to harvest.
The zucchini and yellow straight-neck squash that we planted a little over a week ago survived the nasty wind storm we had last weekend, as well as an attack by squash bugs, and is looking like it will be producing in about three weeks. We will be using floating row covers on the squash, cantaloupe and watermelons to keep pests at bay.
We are growing Rocky Ford and PMR Delicious 51 cantaloupe varieties and Crimson Sweet watermelons this year. I have never grown watermelons before, so I selected a variety that was recommended by the Ag horticulture folks for our area. We are already preparing to string an electric wire around the whole one west growing area to deter raccoons and skunks if need be.
All of the crops in the market garden area are doing really well. We have jalapeno, green and red bell, poblano and Anaheim peppers, tomatoes, yukon gold potatoes, black beauty eggplants, zucchini squash, green and lima beans, southern peas of several varieties, cucumbers, onions, leeks and so much parsley I haven’t a clue what to do with it, but it is so pretty I can’t bring myself to pull it out.
Bees are back at Lost Valley Gardens! We lost our bees last year due to extreme weather and various bee pests, but Ron picked up a new queen and hive for us a couple of weeks ago so we are starting beekeeping afresh. We created a special bee garden to locate the hives in which is centrally located between the gardens, is protected from the wind, gets morning sun and midday and afternoon shade, and which is going to be full of plants that bees like. We even installed a small stock tank to provide a convenient water source for the bees.
The plants in our courtyard continue to provide an absolute riot of color. I was pleased that we had so much going on in our gardens last week when over 25 members of the Canyon Lake Garden Club came to tour our gardens. The mountain laurels and the crossvine had finished blooming, but the roses, penstemon, red yuccas, petunias, sage, clematis, datura and buddleia were bursting with blooms. I don’t think the gardens have ever looked better.
Now that I am catching up with the spring planting I will be spending more time adding recipes to our recipe section. Here is one I added last week.
For the slaw:
1/2 head green cabbage chopped finely
1 cup chopped or shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped snow peas
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
For the creamy dressing:
1/2 cup sour cream
2/3 cup mayonnaise
juice of 2 lemons
3 heaping tablespoons sugar
2/3 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
Mix all slaw ingredients in a large bowl
Add all dressing ingredients to the slaw and mix thoroughly.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 min before serving to let the flavors develop.
We are working hard to get our farm stand open. The only piece yet to be completed before we open is our walk-in cold storage unit. Hopefully that will be done in a few weeks and we can open our doors to the public!