Thursday, January 17, 2013

Trying to be up-BEET

We decided to try our first attempt with growing beets. So out to the Garden area we go to survey where would be a good location, and see how things are faring outside. It has been rather cold, yet the sun is shining. Because of the cold it's better to leave little Pickles inside. As you can tell see looks so happy when we make her stay in.

Don't let those eyes fool you. She'll get over it!!!

First to the compost piles. The oldest and small pile that we have left uncovered has a volunteer red potato plant showing a beautiful green top. We dug around the roots a little and found a bunch of small potatoes, about the size of almonds. Cool!!! And crazy. So I guess we lost that pile to the potatoes.

Now over to the other piles. The oldest under the tarp has cooled yet it looks great with worms in it. So this will be the first to go to work for us.

Now the second pile had some steam come out of it when we turned it. It felt warm so it still needs more time to break down. It will be ready in a few months.

The largest and newest was hot yet it felt a little dry so we turned it a little and dampened it up again. We have had a problem with ants on this batch. So we are trying to keep it a little wetter to get them to leave. It appears to be working because this time there was only a sign of a few ants.

Then we stopped to play with the small girls. We put a few in the garden area where the cover crop is growing. It was funny because they acted as if they were afraid to move. So back to the safety of their coop. (They really live up to the name of being a chicken.)

Finally to the Garden! We decided to use our middle raised bed for the beets and a few other items. So we prepped the bed by first removing a few weeds that love to take over if we ignore them. (We are really good at growing weeds!) Then we added a layer of compost.

Next we added cottonseed meal and a little rock dust and raked this in.

We finally planted the beets. We chose beets called Chioggia and Bull's Blood.  The Chioggia are very pretty with white rings on the inside, and the Bull's Blood are very dark maroon including the leaves which you can eat.
Around them we added 3 different kinds of lettuce and  some fennel. Finally we watered. 

 So hopefully we shall soon see the garden showing signs of FOOD! It is hard to imagine how in just a few weeks we will see lots of new growth with the awakening of spring.  Even though we have patches of green with the Rye and Clover cover crops, it is still brown, gray, and dreary here. But with each seed put into the ground, we have the promise of good things to come. In the meantime we will keep you posted, and Stella will keep watch over the garden plot.  (Perhaps she needs her bangs cut?)

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