Monday, June 18, 2012


Greetings and Salutations;

David and Donald took a break Sunday in honor of Father's Day.

To date, we have planted Mammoth Sunflowers, Luscious Hybrid Sweet Corn, and Black Beauty (Zucchini) Squash. While the seeds are not heirloom, they are all USDA Organic and come from Ferry-Morse (you can get them almost anywhere).

The corn is not doing so well. We have sprouts, but they are sporadic, though they should be up and about ankle high by now. As this is an "experimental" garden, we are reviewing what we have done wrong.

This year, the experimental garden is being planted in virgin soil. The only thing that has grown here in at least 11 years is hay (ok, bermuda grass and other assorted weeds). As we plan to be "all-natural" we are not using any fertilizer or other synthetic growing products, nor are we using any herbicides or pesticides.

We strip tilled, rather than fully tilled, and we used green mulch to cover the crops. Some of the issues we feel that may be inhibiting growth include:

  • Lack of proper ground preparation. As the ground is virgin, full tilling would probably have helped substantially;
  • The green mulch may have been too much.
  • We were watering every three-days. After some research, we learned that corn should only receive about an inch of water every 14-days.
  • We did not use precision planting techniques, in fact, we essentially laid the seed in and covered it.
To test some of our theory, we planted some more corn this Saturday in Section 2 where we had cross-tilled (full tillage). We did not use green mulch and will be watering about every 5-days. We also planted these rows east to west rather then north to south, though that should not be an issue.

We planted sunflowers on the two outside edges of the corn. We have good growth on the west  side but sporadic growth on the east side. That may be an insect of animal issue.

The squash that was planted last week is doing great. We have a good ratio of growth compared to seed and, provided the rabbits and opossums don't get to it, we may have a very good crop of Zucchini. The onions we planted last week are not even showing. We may have planted them too late.

This Saturday we planted Scallop White (Bush) Squash, more commonly known as Patty Pan squash. This is an item that is in high demand around here, so we are hoping for a little success at least.

Donald and David also worked on the east fence line again, at least until David got stung by a bee. He is allergic (just like Donald) and Donald forgot to take his pills with him, so he had to bring David up to the house, where he left him to recuperate. Donald went back down and finished the area they were working. Last weekend about 100 feet was cleared, about 50 more feet was cleared Saturday.

Donald spent Sunday going through and organizing his school notes. We need to start preparing for Winter cover crops, which means we have to complete clearing the east fence line, mark the plots, get soil samples, and get them sent in so we can determine what needs to be planted. We have not yet decided how we will plant, but most likely will set up our rotation for cover crops as well as for vegetables. We are being careful not to make any errors in what we do so that we can get good momentum going and do not have to leave any area fallow to make up for errors.

Over the next two weeks we need to get our watermelon, pumpkin, beans, and some more corn planted. Once we get all our seed down, we can concentrate on the pasture plots.

Until next week,

Blessings from Baker Heritage Farms

The Lord said: "The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants." Baker Heritage Farms - Being good tenants is what it is all about.

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