Monday, September 16, 2013

Farm School Fall Series Week One



A cool breeze accompanied us this weekend at Farm School.
The winds of change are ushering in the fall planting season.



We start every session with a garden update.




These 'maters are looking strong.



While these little transplants do their thing to get big enough for repotting.
They remind me of miniature palm trees
(but they taste a lot better).



Another batch of peppers is feelin' fine 
and will soon be transplanted to the main garden.


These Red Caribbean papayas were relocated to another part of the garden
and are doing quite well.
The Red Caribbean is the primo variety of papaya.
Faye & Lynn will be selling these as plants at the farmer's market before long.



I am beyond thrilled to say that the peas are up!
Whoo-hoo!!!!



These were sown last weekend in the shadier section of the garden 
in hopes that we will soon be enjoying these sweet and juicy tidbits.
(Excuse any slurping sounds you may hear...)



The beets that Lynn had reseeded are doing much better
 since 2013 seed was used.
Seed from the previous year had not fared well.



The gorgeous leeks are growing a bit bigger every week that I visit.


Some of the New Zealand spinach is coming back with very little effort.
It's slow to get started, 
but look out once it gets going!
There will be more than even Popeye can eat!



Tools were readied for transplanting lettuce to bigger pots.
Lynn keeps his tools right where he uses them,
so time is not wasted running back and forth for supplies.



It's still pretty warm during midday,
but we're hoping that giving these little guys some shade will help them.



We've shown the method used here before.
Lynn has cut these plastic rings to size so that weeds are almost non-existent.
We use the hole to center the transplant.


Here's a close-up of the nail we use to find our center.


Then the soil is removed around the nail.


The seedling is placed in the hole
with the top just above the soil in the pot.
The soil is replaced and gently nestled around the seedling.
Then we put the plastic cover back on over the plant.


Lynn waters in well from the lowest part of the pot.
Just enough water is used to saturate the roots from the cell pack.


A few basil were also potted up.



We covered the plants with 40% shade cloth
(one piece of 20% cloth doubled over).
This will keep them from getting burned with the intensity 
of our still summer-like sun.


A layer of plastic was placed over the shade cloth
to protect from any pounding rains that might damage their tender leaves.


Another crop transplanted today was eggplant.
The same method is used for all the crops here.
Hey, if it works, why mess with it?

In this instance,
the eggplant were looking a bit wilted by the time we got to them.
Lynn used his wire supports featured here last week.
He also used 2 bricks to make a wind break
to prevent damage to the seedlings until they are stronger.



One of the philosophies we share is,
"use whatcha got".
Works for me!


This was found in one of the pots being readied for the transplants.
It felt spongy, almost like a tiny rubber ball.
Know what it is?


I didn't either.
It's a skink egg.
You'll find these cool and helpful critters skittering all over the place.



After doing a bit of research,
it was discovered that these flatworms 
may not be such a welcome addition to the garden.
They prey on earthworms, as well as other insects.

Overall, we got a lot done in a few hours.
Productive days like these just do my heart good.



Being surrounded by such beauty
and learning in a supportive environment
restores my spirit in ways I can't explain.







Yankee magnolia in bud



in bloom

and going to seed




These blooms signify the first sign of fall
here in Central Florida.





Here's what once was a palm tree.
It was lost during a storm and this remains.



Faye told me palm trees are very porous.
I had no idea.



This is the amazing bark of a crape myrtle.


Another wonderful day spent with two sweet souls.
It is sometimes overwhelming to realize
that God has put us together for this adventure.
I, for one, am thoroughly grateful.


"Today is life-the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. 
Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake.  
Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. 
Live today with gusto."
-Dale Carnegie


The Farm School Series starts here.






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