Monday, February 14, 2011

NEW GREENHOUSE

When the temperature gets warmer, Frank and I get so motivated to get started on our garden. We purchased a kit greenhouse from Harbor Freight and Frank had it together in no time. I had watched a few YouTube videos on people putting one together so had anticipated at least a 3-4 day project. Frank had the actual greenhouse up in about 5 hours. After he had it installed, he made some benches and it is now ready for me to start my plants. I plan to use it mainly for starting seedlings and getting a head start on tomato plants.
Friday was such a beautiful and warm day we just couldn’t help ourselves wanting to be outside all day long. We cleaned up all the dead vegetable plants and flower plants left over in the fields from last year. Pulled up all the drip system tapes and then Frank hooked up the rotatiler to his tractor and did most of the areas I am planning on planting the early spring plants.
I had received a call from Lassen Canyon Nursery that my strawberry plants will be shipped on Monday. They are such wonderful people there, so helpful and willing to provide any information you may need.
On Sunday, Frank put the boxer/bedder on his John Deere and made 4 – 130 foot raised bed rows for my strawberry plants. We then laid out the plastic sheeting over the top of the rows and spent the next few hours shoveling dirt all along the edges of the plastic to keep it down so it will not flap in the wind. Underneath the plastic is the drip system tape that Frank will hook up in the future when we need to start watering the plants. I was very sore at the end of the day!
I purchased 3 types of strawberries, 2 are called June bearing-Chandler and Stella varieties. These types are good producers for our area and will provide large and delicious strawberries in early spring until mid summer until it starts to get very hot. The 3rd variety is called San Andreas and is a Day Neutral, meaning it will produce plants from May to October. Apparently, strawberries produce not only due to the weather but the number of daylight hours. They told me that the plants are shipped frozen, that is interesting. I heard it is supposed to rain so I guess I will be planting strawberry plants in the rain!!!
An aspect of using sustainable farming practices is to try and use natural pest control measurers whenever possible. One way that I try and do that is to have bird houses mounted around my gardens. We have blue bird houses that Frank made a few years ago, on every other fence post edging the spring garden section. All the birdhouses were full last year with bluebirds, except one that was taken over by some swallow looking type birds. We also encourage birds by the use of water features around our yard and gardens. The large fountain in the back yard has so many different types of birds that use it either to drink out of it or take baths. In the summer evenings, a couple pairs of doves take their evening drinks. The birds supply such beautiful sounds during the day and are eating up all those bugs too.
The Gridley Herald published a wonderful article about our Windmill Farm on Wednesday. The publisher, Lisa VanDeHey was so sweet and said some very nice things about our place and our efforts to grow the very best tasting fruits and vegetables for our CSA members and people who purchase our crops from our self service stand. Thank you Lisa!!

Lastly, a friend of mine suggested I mention to you about a family story cookbook I wrote. I put together this cook book as a Christmas gift to our Carli side of the family and it came about because my husband’s family is Italian and the whole family always spoke about wonderful cooks in the family history. It was a 6 month project of compiling as many Italian recipes from as many relatives as I could, which included back five generations to the present. The book contains old photographs and short biographies of the people whose recipes are featured. Because I had to have a certain minimum printed, I happen to have extras if anyone wishes to purchase one. The actual cost of printing, $15.00 each (+ mailing cost) is the price. Just email me if you might be interested in one and I will be glad to mail it to you.

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