Monthly Archives: March 2013

400 Pepper Plants…What was I thinking!

We love peppers, but I think I got a little carried away on Friday while I was starting the eggplant and pepper seedlings.  I am in our “greenhouse” singing along to Johnny Cash, “Get Rhythm”, and pumping out those little mini soil blocks.  They are so easy to press out that I just keep making a few more and a few more, and I might as well finish off that pack of peppers because there are so few left in the container, and so it goes until I have seeded 400 pepper blocks. 

Sweet Banana, a long sweet Hungarian; Jimmy Nardello’s Italian, excellent for drying; Doe Hill Golden Bell; Marconi; California Wonder; Carmen, a sweet Italian roasting; and for a little kick Padron, a Spanish heirloom sautéed in olive oil with a little sea salt as a tapas; and Capperino, a cherry pepper for stuffing and pickling.  Isn’t your mouth watering?  Mine sure was as I was getting carried away thinking of all the tasty dishes I was going to make, and how our farm families were going to enjoy these scrumptious peppers.  What I wasn’t thinking about was what it is going to be like in about a week when I have to pump out 400 2 inch soil blocks which isn’t nearly as easy as the mini blocks, and where in the world am I going to grow these 400 transplants until I can put them in the garden, and do we really need or want to plant 400 pepper plants in garden.  The look on Glenn’s face when I proudly told him what I had done that day was duly impressed, but then quickly turned quizzical as to the long term reality of my zeal.

Thus, if all goes well, we will have extra pepper transplants that we will sell to those who want healthy, locally grown pepper transplants for your home garden in about 8 weeks.  Just send me an email at beebranchfarm@gmail.com if you want me to notify you when they are ready.  If you have a place to grow the transplants, even better.  I will be potting up the germinated plants to their 2 inch soil blocks in about a week.  These plants are being grown with all organic nutrients and amendments, as well as our homemade vegetable compost.

Elsewhere on the farm, Glenn is cleaning beehives to ready them for our two new hives to be arriving in April.  Our lovingly grown tendersweet cabbage transplants that I put out under a row cover last weekend, took a hit when the snow weighted down the row cover and damaged some of their leaves and the multiple days of 20 degree chill didn’t help matters.  Onions looking good; apparently some other critter likes garlic as much as I do.  Mole?  And, Organic Grower’s School at UNCA was well worth my weekend with all the valuable information and resources gained.

Happy Spring!

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Farm fresh veggie starts

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I’m pleased with seed germination from our own mix using Eliot Coleman’s recipe and soil block makers. Onions, cabbage and parsley off to a good start, and broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi and thyme has germinated within 4 days this week. Apparently our plants enjoy the soothing tones of Enya’s Memory of the Trees; I thought they might appreciate this addition to their growing environment. You can tell from the photos that we don’t have a greenhouse, but have created a makeshift “greenhouse” in our garage. I monitor temperature, moisture, circulation and provide pleasing vibrations with music for their and my enjoyment; on the weekends we mix it up and jam with Glenn’s Sirius radio. I love growing healthy plants!

Elsewhere on the farm, the hens are healthy and happy. Glenn is broad forking the root vegetable garden; a great workout, no gym, no fees required. Sadly, our hives are silent; we are, however, excited about the “mountain mutts” we are getting from Jon Christie of Madison County. And, I am thrilled for the snow to be kissing my face as I walk about the farm with Tillie.