Newly Raised Beds

The gophers took over the last raised beds I built. Time to show them who’s boss!

I was reluctant to put chicken wire under all of my old raised beds, and within a few months the gophers had discovered the bounty. Discouraged and annoyed, accompanied by occasional feelings of guilt, I decided to take on the project again. This time the gophers wouldn’t get the best of me.

I recycled the cedar fencing I had used for the original three boxes, and turned those into two boxes with legs, and a floor in each one. I suppose the gophers wont climb out of the ground and into the beds. But, honestly now I am not so sure. As I was building the second bed last Friday, one of my neighbors from up the street warned me they are known to do such things! I am still in the “this won’t happen to me” phase. Time will tell.

Attention Gophers! Heed my warning! Stick to the ground, and you are safe. Disturb my raised beds, and you will most certainly be met by an untimely death, and be transported to the Great Dirt Pile in the Sky. Or, the great dirt pile in the back yard.

Here is the second raised bed with newly planted peppers. This is my experiment combining French Intensive, Square Foot Gardening, Hügelkultur, and raised bed gardening all in one! Purple Bells in the back, Jalapeños in the middle, Habaneros in the foreground. I’m expecting a Pepper Forest, and suppose pruning will be in my future.

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Vernal Equinox, New Moon, Supermoon! It is planting time!

This weekend is a great time to plant some food for you and your family. If you are familiar with the power of the moon, you know Saturday and Sunday are the perfect days to get some tomatoes in the ground.

We have some wonderful new plants available at the farm today, and throughout the weekend. Come on by, there’s a table in the driveway. Cash goes in the box. This is a self serve operation. Perhaps you’ll see me out there while I work on my newest Hydroponics project. Let’s talk tomatoes! I’m always willing to talk about growing vegetables. If you can’t make it out this weekend, send me an email, or feel free to comment below.

Happy Planting!

-Farmer Chris

New tomato varieties available Friday, March 20th

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Eggs For Sale!

wpid-20150309_152216.jpgEggs For Sale! Come get the best darn eggs in Santa Barbara.

Gathered from ethically raised, happy hens. $3/half dozen; $5/dozen.

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Meet Our Girls:

Abigail, Lavinia, and Gertrude Fezziwick – Ameraucauna

Tess O’Hare – Buff Rock

Cordelia Bordeaux – New Hampshire Red

Dorothea Peterborg – Gold Laced Wyandotte

Annelise Peterborg – Blue Laced Red Wyandotte

Adelaide, Bernadette, and Capucine Dubois – Araucana

Photo also featuring – Parmesan and Fricassee aka “The Broilers”

First Plant Sale of the Season

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Thank you everyone who attended our first plant sale of 2015! We are starting the season with four varieties of tomato plants.

Early Gem Tomato Plants

The Early Gem tomato is a medium globe type hybrid popular with home gardeners because of its early fruit ripening. It is an indeterminate variety. Early Gem is tall growing and needs support as the plant grows. Fruit maturity ranges from 50 to 62 days from transplanting. Plants are reliable and prolific, but not particularly cold-tolerant. The ripe tomato is about the size and shape of a tennis ball—very much a standard tomato—and weighs 4 to 8 ounces. It has a bright color and good flavor.

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Red Brandywine Tomato Plants

The Brandywine tomato plant is an heirloom cultivar of the species, with large potato-leaved foliage. It bears large pink beefsteak-shaped fruit, popularly considered among the best tasting available. Brandywine tomatoes can bear fruit up to 1.5 lbs (0.7 kg). The fruit requires 80 to 100 days to reach maturity, making it among the slowest maturing varieties of common tomato cultivars. Brandywine has been described as having a “great tomatoey flavor”, (others have called it a beautifully sweet tomato that is offset by a wonderful acidity) leading to heavy usage despite the original cultivar’s relatively low yield per plant. Its fruit has the beefsteak shape and pinkish flesh. Even when fully ripe, the tomato can have green shoulders near the stem. The Brandywine tomato plant has potato leaves, an unusual variation on the tomato plant whose leaves are smooth and oval with a pointy tip, instead of jagged and fjord-like the way “normal” tomato plant leaves are.

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Cherry Buzz Tomato Plants

The word around town is that Cherry Buzz is the tomato worth a special place in the garden. Requiring only 55 days to maturity, this is one of the earliest of all the tomatoes to ripen.  It also not only produces loads of tasty, bite-sized treats before the tomato season truly kicks in, it also continues to pump them out throughout the summer. Shiny, 1/2-3/4 inch, red globes have a bright, sweet flavor, are crack resistant, and engulf indeterminate plants in clusters. Ferny, especially healthy, productive plants round out this exceptional variety.

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Yellow Pear Tomato Plants

Pear tomato or teardrop tomato is the common name for any one in a group of indeterminate heirloom tomatoes. It originated in Europe in the 1700s. They are generally sweet, and are in the shape of a pear, but smaller. Pear tomatoes are commonly eaten raw, but can also be used as a garnish, as an ingredient in many different dishes and sauces, or in drinks. They are perfect for summer party hors d’oeuvres. Plants generally yield enormous numbers of yellow bite-sized fruits. The fruit takes approximately 75 days to maturity.

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