Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'm Ready For Halloween!

Halloween is pretty simple here at Applejack Lane.  I did my decorating in four easy steps since I only have about four Halloween decorations!
Here is my new light bulb...
my little handcrafted ghost...
my favorite fall kitty cat...
and my new handcrafted pumpkin from my friend  Valerie at Snap Peas...
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Planting 240 in the "Back Forty"!

The farmers next door to Applejack Lane were plowing the fields in mass this morning because the weatherman called for a lot of rain the next few days.  That meant we needed to get on the stick and do our own farming on our "back forty".  So, we got to it and completed a new garlic bed just in time before  frost comes to the Valley.  This has been somewhat of an undertaking.  Cathy has wanted a garlic bed since she met a garlic grower at the local Farmers' Market this summer.   After some research and reading Paula's blog at Sweet Pea, we made a plan.  First, Cathy brought home a load of leaf mulch that was pure black gold to put over our soil on the existing garden.  We added some chopped leaves, and hubby tilled that under.  After tilling, more turning, and raking,  we were ready to plant this morning.
This summer, Cathy picked up eight different garlic varieties from the Farmers' Market for planting. All garlic is not equal.  Garlic varies in taste, color, and size.
 Red Tosh-one of Cathy's favorites
 Oregon Blue
 Kettle River
 Musik-very large cloves-can't wait for this one!
Next we peeled and separated each bulb into individual cloves and picked the largest 30 of that variety to plant.  The outer cloves were usually the best. Yes, with eight varieties and 30 plants each, we are going to have a lot of garlic if each one matures properly.
 I labeled a a baggy to keep each variety separate.  Some varieties had more cloves than others, and the cloves in varied in size.
 I had to improvise garden labels by using plastic spoons for the time being.
I made a cardboard template to dig the holes.  I wanted relatively even rows that had plants every 5 inches apart.
Ten the digging and planting began.  A clove has a definite top and bottom so you want to make sure you put the right side down. 

I lightly raked the top soil to cover the holes. The next time hubby mows, we will put a layer of leaf mulch on the top.  Voila!  We are done!  Now, we wait through the winter until June to see if the majority of our 240 garlic plants grow!
Does anyone know if squirrels like garlic?