Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Welcome to Heritage Farm

I suppose all cool farms have a name. Therefore, I am proclaiming that the final countdown has begun - here at Heritage Farm - regarding the days before our final transplant and many direct sows.

Brown kraft paper & cardboard with bricks as weights
The garden has been tilled and weeded. I laid both cardboard and brown kraft paper over the soil to kill all remaining weeds (by choking out all sunlight) without using any chemicals. After about 2-3 weeks there are few weeds still beneath the barrier and any remnants are easily maintained once a week. Overall the soil looks good and I would say it did a great job.

Brown kraft paper is something I used in lieu of cutting cardboard boxes and sprawling them all over the garden. The alternative to expensive weed fabrics was newspapers which a lot of folks recommend. I don't subscribe to a newspaper and I already had kraft paper, so naturally it made sense.

The benefits of kraft paper:

- Rolls out easily
- Covers a large area fast
- Allows water to drip into the soil
- Blocks the sunlight
- Biodegradable
- Contains no ink or chemicals
- Durable and does not dissolve easily.

Next year I plan to make raised beds to give the garden some character, and kraft paper will be a perfect bottom liner for weed protection.

Overall our crop for this first year will consist of:

Onions (exciting, eh?)
Already in the ground and showing signs of life:
Lettuce (several varieties)

Ready for transplant:
Tomatoes: Black Cherry, Yellow Morning Sun, Money Maker, SuperSauce, Dester, and the last
minute addition was the Kellog's Beefsteak (I couldn't pass up the deal on seeds at Rural King)
Little Fingers Eggplant
Peppers: California Wonder, Carnival Mix, Lipstick, Purple Beauty, and a generic gold bell seed I sowed from a Baesler's pepper. Ironically, it is nearly the largest of all the pepper seedlings thus far.

Direct sow:
Cucumber, Green Zucchini Squash (Striata D'Italia), and Yellow Zucchini Squash, as well as Spaghetti Squash. 

Dester Tomato - Baker Creek Seed Co.
Out of all the vegetables we have slated for season one at Heritage Farm, I think the most anticipated item is the Dester tomato. This pink beefsteak was brought to America from Germany and in the 1970's, an Amish house cleaner named Anna, who was working in Berne, Indiana for a Dr. Herbert Dester, was given some of these cherished seeds. Years later Anna sold a few of the plants to Kathy McFarland, an employee of Baker Creek Seed Co. in Seymour, MO.

Today Baker Creek, Seed Savers Exchange, and other retailers, sell the Dester tomato - a juicy one and a half pound indeterminate heirloom that won 1st place in the 2011 and 2nd place in the 2012 SSE TomatoTasting Awards. While it is technically not considered a "Hoosier variety", it does have some Hoosier roots in its background, and therefore it shall have a nice sunny spot at Heritage Farm.

No comments:

Post a Comment