The FSA (Family Supported Agriculture)

“Do you know what you want in your FSA this week?” I asked Emily.  Eggs, goat cheese, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, sage, and pumpkin piled into the cooler. I have always been on that in-between-sized farm.  I can grow a lot of produce, but I have run into a few problems with a small…

The Autumn Gardens (Spring and Fall Crops and the Great Harvest)

Fall crops grow beautifully and swiftly in their haphazard rows. The spring crops that I painstakingly place inches apart in the early cool of spring take awhile to germinate in the cold and then go to seed when summer decides to come on strong.  When those very same seeds are planted in  late July or early August they germinate…

A Great Farming Book and Why Every One of Us Needs a Garden

With very little work I am still pulling out baskets of tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, beans, squash, and greens from the gardens.  The nights are getting cool enough that tonight I will need to bring in the houseplants.  Crickets still sing for summer as I write.  These gardens have been such a lovely respite.  They didn’t…

How a Farmgirl got Her Groove Back

It seems a very long time ago that I stood outside on our prairie farm screaming.  I watched the last of the chickens be swooped up and driven away by other farmers who didn’t rent their farms.  The sheep were gone.  The goats were gone.  My dog had died.  I continued to give away or…

Farming by the Moon and Canning Jar Cloches

It is both exciting and daunting to be farming in a slightly different climate.  We went up one zone and added at least a month to our growing season.  I am attempting Brussels sprouts, artichokes, and sweet potatoes with my new found month.  It is quite hot here in the summer though so this is…

Pick Your Patience (a lesson in seeds)

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, yesterday and today are the opportune moments to plant root crops.  My potatoes aren’t here yet, but plenty of seed packets awaited.  Carrots, parsnips, radishes, beets, onions, and cloves of garlic were pressed gently into a half inch ravine of roughed up soil and soft, organic garden soil covered the…

Farmgirl School; Homesteading 101 (now available on Amazon!)

I never guessed back in 2012 what this would become.  I set out to chronicle our adventures in homesteading.  To create a template and how-to that we wish we had.  We weren’t able to find information on how to farm high altitude, or how to bottle feed a goat, or how to do any of…

Creating Hills in the Garden (you be the teacher)

In this installment of Farmgirl School, you are the teacher!  Please respond with your ideas and experiences.  We will all greatly appreciate the inspiration! So, in this crazy idea of mine where we have meandering paths around and through the gardens (on this very flat land), I would like to create some height.  I think it…

The Cost of Gardening

Ooh, purple carrots, must have those.  Pak Choi, yes please.  This is Pumpkin Hollow Farm, mind you, so three varieties of pumpkins in various colors sounds good.  Three kinds of potatoes.  Two kinds of asparagus (we are finally in a place where we can wait until the first harvest!) naturally, and don’t forget yard long…

Meandering Paths (shunning straight rows)

I have visions of meandering paths.  Perennials interspersed with annuals.  Gardens in themes.  Soft grass (or mowed weeds) in the path.  Maybe wood chips.  Maybe pea gravel.  I want to walk upon something soft.  My granddaughter never wears shoes, what would she love to walk on? Hills and secret benches for pondering butterflies.  A pond…

The Straw Bale and Other Easy Raised Beds

There are many ways to create raised beds.  My favorite right now would be to use straw bales to create a rectangle, place a piece of cardboard in the bottom to suppress weeds (and prevent roots from accessing the soil before it is properly cleaned), then fill with soil.  That would take a bit of organic…

Hugelkultur Gardening

Hugelkultur gardens.  Heck, that is just fun to say!  This German word means “hill culture”.  It is an easy form of raised beds.  Some beds can be seven feet tall! Logs and branches are your foundation. We have branches piled up behind the chicken coop.  Doug was going to use them for firewood, but I…