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Weekly farm update

Oh boy this was a busy week!  We ate the first fruits of our labor this week.  Pea shoots, two weeks from seed to plate.  If you have never tried growing pea shoots, they take only two weeks to grow to edible size, you cut the top portion (about 5 to 6 inches long) once they are about 12 inches tall and then the top grows back.  You can take a second cutting and then I transplant them to rows where they will have the space to grow peas for us.

This is such a great crop, in a salad the shoots are slightly nutty and crispy with a little taste of cucumber.  It is almost instant gratification and great to have in the garden as you wait for everything else to grow.

If you saw my update last week, I posted the peas when they were a week old.   It is super easy to plant these and I do them in a container.  Put some good garden soil (I use compost) in a container, sprinkle dried peas (the kind for sprounting) all over the surface then cover with a thin layer of soil and pat it all down. (I added much more seeds than are shown in the picture)

at one week.  I was not able to take a picture at two weeks but at this point alot of the peas had not popped up through the dirt.  When they did, it was a carpet of peas.
This week I got more salad planted, bell peppers, jalapeno, two beds of onions and a bed of garlic just to eat the tops because garlic does not grow well here.  What I am most excited about is the jerusalem artichokes, also called sunchokes, that I received from a swap with an online gardening friend and I have been busy digging trenches to plant them.  I hope to be done by next week…long before then.
Today I am at a Sustainable Living Conference with Erica (who loves to do this one event with her momma every year)  She is one of my children who actually loves to grow things and the farm is her environment.  It is  our bonding time.  I will post pics as soon as I can.  I hope to learn lots and share lots.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or follow me by email at the top right hand of the screen to have future posts sent to you. Tricia (Crunchy Catholic Momma)

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Foraging for Blackberries in the Back 40

Have you ever heard the phrase “back 40”?  It refers to what is grown on a farms back 40 acres.  Well around here we don’t have any back 40 acres.  We do have 40 feet so I guess I could refer to what is growing in my back 40 feet but instead I will call our back 40 the wild acres all around us where we can glean free food.
We have access to this amazing partially wild land which consists of open fields and forrests.  It is about 20 acres and today we went for a visit.  What where we after you may ask?  Wild juicy Florida Blackberries.  Each kid with gloves on and bag in hand jumped out of the van and went to it.  Everywhere the eye can see there are blackberries growing among the throny brambles.  The kids know how to be careful and not get scratched and which ones to pick.

It was such a beautiful day and walking through the tree canopies was a treat.

And when we were all done we gathered about 10 quarts of blackberries.  We have blackberries planted in our garden but it is hard to pass up the free food which is completely orgnanic, natural, untouched and unhelped by human hands.  Of course I could not count the blackberries we gave away on our way home or all the berries that went straight into my childrens tummies but we now have enough berries to make jam, jellies and blackberry syrup for pancakes, ice cream and to flavor our homemade kefir and yogurt.

So what’s growing on your back 40?

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