Archive | July, 2013

Cooking Heritage Birds

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A very quick and brief posting today!  We have been busy in the gardens and working w/ poultry. Young chicks, Saxony ducklings and Guinea Keets all growing nicely. Still have eggs in the incubator, though we are winding down and soon all pens will be thrown open and the chickens rewarded for all their work this season with free range.

Many of you keep chickens or buy your chickens locally to avoid the arsenic laced birds from industrial producers.  I want to share information on cooking heritage birds. It was written by Gina Bisco, an American breeder of White Chantecler. The Bisco line of White Chanteclers is the ONLY American line in our flock.

Happy Gardening. Happy Canning/Freezing. Happy Cooking.

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Royal Mail Delivery !

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This morning’s mail delivered my copy of the August 2013 issue of The British Magazine Home Farmer.  Exciting to actually hold this great magazine and to be able to turn the pages and read it. Sightly over size at 11.75 x 8.25 it is full of helpful articles.  Like magazines used to be here back in the 60s and 70s.

August contents

A quick look at the table of contents shows the great range of articles in this issue!

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Suddenly you reach page 23  and there it is!

Pallet Garden Capture-1

The layout about the Pallet Garden here at Fayrehale Farm.

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And from Great Britain we head for New Zealand where the pallet garden will be featured  online in Garden NZ  and in the printed magazine Rural Living.

Those of you trying this system should feel free to relate your experiences in the comments section of this entry OR the original blog entry.

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A Few Gardening Updates As We Have A Monsoon Season In Vermont !

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Small Potato Patch

We have a love and a preference for new, small potatoes!  I never plan on any being left in the fall for storage!  If I were to want potatoes to hold over the winter I would need a patch well separated from the house!  WELL SEPARATED!!!  We do not use that many potatoes but what it is easier to pick them up at our Coop than it is for me to exercise self control!

For most of my life I have followed Ruth Stout’s system for growing potatoes.

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This year, we used a 4×4 frame that was on the ground, originally built for bat houses that are yet to be erected. So few bats now. Filled it with soil.

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Placed three rows of seed potatoes –  red & white.

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Even though Ruth Stout used hay, we use straw to lower the chance of weed & grass seeds. It is easier to deal with a few oats! As the potato plants grow, more straw is added between rows and around plants. Straw rather than traditional “hilling”  The beauty of this system is NO digging.  When the time comes to have those small, new potatoes for supper, I just move the straw back, pick up the potatoes I want right then and replace the straw.

I need to fence this off as the geese are too intrigued.  Right now it is covered with a temporary row cover to keep poultry from investigating while grow starts. Low fence will be set up this week so row cover can be removed.

The Other Small Update

Our indeterminate varieties of tomatoes are outgrowing their cages. We solved this by repurposing old tent frame pieces!  As you know, we sleep outside during nice weather and we use inexpensive tents that give us one year of living and one winter of covering the bed and chairs!

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Fayrehale Farm Melon House Prepared & Planted

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Back on February 4th, I wrote about our intent to have a melon house this season and to grow melons in Vermont!  We selected four varieties for our first attempt at melons.

The hoop house has been prepared and the started melon plants are planted. Straw will protect those that crawl and we have installed trellis for them to climb.  I think the fruit on the climbing portion may need a sling to support it as it hangs.  Saw this done in a Dupont Greenhouse at Longwood Gardens   (10th image down the page)

We should have nearly another 120 days with the hoop house if we close the back and cover the door in the fall.  The door can be opened on nice days.  The Shade cloth will probably come off in the fall as well.

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The Melon House is at the left. The middle hoop house will be tomatoes, beans, chard and beets as we work with the wettest Vermont season in decades. The hoop house to the right is where we do our winter gardening, based on the work Eliot Coleman has done at his Four Season Farm in Maine.  We will put our carrots and parsnips in here now so they can stay in the ground and other summer vegetables that will come along quickly enough to be harvested and removed in time to plant winter greens. Probably some beans for nitrogen.

The Melon House and the Center Hoop house chickens in the winter.

All a learning process that we share as we go!  Happy Gardening!

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