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Garden Chat

The Trials and success of our micro estate.

Harvest Round-Up 2016

It has been a long time since I have updated my blog.  The summer growing season has required my full attention.  For the first tine in my farming life, we had drought this summer.  In my part of the province we received 50% less rainfall across the summer months.   In fact, the lake was so low and early Fall rainfall still sparse, than for a month water restrictions were imposed.  We are always mindful of water use on our farm and in our house, but with the water restrictions it provided us means to be even more conservative with water use.  Our raised beds held their own because of the focus we place on soil fertility/health.  However, it was a challenge to keep up with our container trials, in peak season they required daily water.  We did our best to use rain water for all our watering needs, and proud to say that aside from 2 or 3 waterings no city water was used.  This is a benefit because it keeps costs down for us, and rain water is must better overall for soil health.

After two years of growing some crops, there will be some that are not returning to our production namely corn.  I love the look of it, but the production value it provides does not warrant to real estate it occupies.  Also, a change for next year is we will have to do out best to harvest more rainwater in the spring to ensure adequate water for high summer.  Also, we may employ more crop cover on crops sensitive to wilting if drought conditions happen in Summer 2017. 

Despite the drought conditions that we faced, we had a strong harvest.  Peas, potatoes, squash, pumpkins, greens and tomatoes abound.  As of right now, we still have tomatoes outside on vine, and up until two weeks ago both summer and winter squash were setting new fruit.  We did better this year with staggered planting to extend crops and get good yields.   We have greens in that don't mind the cold such as kale, and will overwinter them.  Our seed harvest is the big focus right now, ensuring we get seeds for next year's crops and with luck have some for sale too!

With our seed harvest almost done, we are slowly turning our attention to next year's plan. 

What did you grow this year that gave a good yield?  What will you do differently next year?