Friday, January 10, 2014

Flowers & More Flowers-Pruning Poms-New Plans

I have been delayed at getting to my blog, sorry about that.  Who would ever guess here in Gridley, we would have almost 70 degree weather since before Christmas.  Yes, we had those cold nights and some over-cast mornings, but we start out with  sweatshirts in AM and shedding them off by 1:00pm.
With that warm weather means we are working outside here at Windmill Farm.  The wonderful days of sharing Christmas with family, the not so wonderful New Years with blasting music next door until 3:00am (oh did I mention they had blasting music until 3:00am on Christmas Eve too???).  We decided to tackle the pomegranate trees- they had not been pruned for maybe 2 seasons for sure.  They had gotten so full; so tall; so thorny; so weedie; but oh what a great crop of them we had this fall!!!
There are 10 rows, 20 trees in each row.  Frank and I have been weeding, thinning, pruning and cutting the height down-a row a day.  Doesn't seem like a big thing?  Well you know we aren't like these spring chickens that are pecking around the base of the trees in the photos below, you know.  We are now on row 8 and the end is in site.  Two really good things I can say about pomegranate trees though, they don't require a lot of water; nor do they need any kind of dormant sprays or any kind of sprays for that matter.  In the world of horses when we had them, they may have been called "easy keepers".  Except for the thorns.
Here are some photos of befores, during and all cleaned up.

Bug finding by the hens

Annie keeping order with Chickens
The thorns

We have been working on our 2014 CSA plans.  This year, I am planning on raising more and more flowers, along with our vegetables and herbs.  I just can't seem to get enough of flowers.  I want to have some available to sell as early as possible and as late as possible to try and add a little extra revenue to our farm income.  All our farming costs are going up and up-water, fuel, plastic drip tape, valves, equipment, PGE for watering, on and on.  The "added-value" items, like jams, jellies, baked goods are helpful, but they require equipment costs and mostly, my time.  The flowers are planted in same location as our vegetables, so they are tended the same, watered the same as the veggies.  Well, we all needs plans, goals, dreams, so these are mine for this year-more flowers.
I am planting more bulbs, dahlias, glads, ranunculus, but my big push this spring will be planting sweet peas.  Is there any flower, beside peonies, that just invokes such wonderful feelings as the smell of sweet peas?  I have been following a blog-Floret Flowers, incredible farm in the state of Washington.  She had a CSA farm, tore it all out and is now just growing flowers.  The photos of her walking through fields of different flowers blooming is just so inspiring.  She has made a pretty great living for her and her family by just growing flowers-local flowers being sold locally at the grocery stores and markets.  Did you know that the average flower that you see at the markets have traveled more than 1500 miles to get to you?
After going through all my seed catalogs and traveling the Internet, I have purchased my sweet pea seeds, got them soaking and I hope to have them planted in the greenhouse by tomorrow.  I am dreaming of planting them in rows of color, white, pink, purple, rose colored and then mixed, walking through; smelling that sweet smell and picking bunches and bunches.  Are you interested??? I plan on having a CSA-flower membership, bi-weekly delivery of flowers, and on the off-week, can be picked up at the farm.
Well, we still have those last 2 rows to prune.  Funny little personal story about thorns.  Last night Frank and I were watching a movie.  He stopped the movie and asked me to look at his head, it hurt and he thought there was something in it.  I looked and at the top of his head, I pulled out about 3/4" THORN stuck in his scalp!!!  No wonder it hurt. OMG-he said it was there for a few days-what can I say-until next time.


1 comment:

Dirt Lover said...

Ahhh, sweet peas! They are so beautiful, so fresh, and so happy. You can't help but smile when they are around. The weather here has been gorgeous, and I've been loving it, although I feel somewhat guilty about that, because I know the farmers really need the rain. Such a shock to drive home and see all the orchards being watered at this time of year.