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Let the eating begin!!

Apr 17, 2010

I am so excited local organic spinach is ready and the asparagus is coming next week. Before you know it, the local strawberries will make their all too brief appearance. I am starting to gain ground in the battle with the ground hog (thanks Joel!),and squirrels, but they have had more of my lettuce than I have. My perennials are thriving, I am sure they benefited by the wet winter, but it is exciting to see the native and endangered plants spreading and liking their environment.The goldenseal has spread as well as the new bee balm.Same with the wild ginger. The hops are growing all over the place. I planted lots of dill seed yesterday and also sunflower seeds. I hope my sunflowers do well this year, last year I had only two. The peas are up and the Epsom salts around them seem to be protecting them from being consumed, but something keeps digging up the onion sets.
Next weekend, my husband is going to try and till a spot down at our farm plot while I am at school, so we can start some of the crops down there, and also let some of our new members pick a space they want to work.
The Beverly buying club is working out well for now, and we might even have a store to use to expand it. I will let people know how that works out.
Meantime I am still harvesting and enjoying the wild nettles, though soon I will let them grow some before cutting them to dry and also to tincture.
So the outdoors is keeping me busy and occupied but still leaving time to keep moving forward on our Beverly Gardner's Pod.
Green Blessings, Susan

Comments

I have asparagus up & cole plants. My lettuce is just coming up. Tell us more about the farm plots.
Hi, Joel and everyone! I am proud to be one of the longest gardeners to be at Taylors. I have had my plot for over 28 years, and worked the same land with friends before that, who had an organic produce business. The Taylor property was deeded to the family by King George and is the oldest operating farm on the Delaware River, owned by the same family. They deeded this value land over to the nature conservancy, so it will never be developed, in an area that the family could have made millions by selling to developers. So I want to first of all, thank this wonderful family who have made it possible for people to have land to grow on and for keeping the wetlands and surrounding forests free from development forever. It is not uncommon to see one of the Bald Eagles, when working in the garden in the morning, but the some of the rest of the wild life is way unbalanced. There has been probably close to 1000 acres of development in the area of the farm withing the last ten years, wiping out habitat of thousands of animals- that is why we have so many problems with keeping what we grow for ourselves at the farm. I have now concentrated on using part of it to establish a safe haven for native endangered plants- both in sun and shade beds, as well as planting some non edibles - like the narcissus. We are going to plant in one of the best fenced in areas, and treat around it for ground hogs, while hoping the deer decide it is not worth trying to go under or over the fence. I will have my basils out there , some other annual herbs and collards. Some cut flowers and sunflowers too. I am going to plant mainly hot peppers-they seemed to escape the blight and the critters. I found if I plant hot peppers closest to the fence all around-they work as a slight deterrent, although by the end of the season the ground hog was actually trying to eat jalapeno peppers! Are you harvesting asparagus now? One of my friends here in South Jersey has been harvesting for a few weeks, but the Amish who live about 100 miles west of here in PA, could not cut yet this past week, because the temperatures dropped again. This area has many micro climates as well. I can harvest tomatoes right through October here in the yard and some years, we do not get a killing frost here in our yard till November, but the farm plot, closer to the river and not getting that heat from the city, usually has a killing frost at least a couple of weeks ahead of here at home- that is less than five miles away! People always think of NJ as a place you drive through on the turnpike and have no clue why we are called the "Garden State", but we not only have preserved more farmland than any other state, our family farms have been able to survive because they were mainly "truck farms", and are not as monoculture centered as other farming states. So that is my little history on the Taylor Family and their legacy in NJ as well as some more about what I grow.Thanks for asking! Green Blessings! Susan
Hi Susan I really enjoyed reading about where you live. I found this website, which if you set it to 'Birdseye' you might be able to spot where your gardens are. We saw Bald Eagles [I think they were] last year for the first time when we visited Vancouver. I think it was a newly fledged family as they all kept together. We sat in the sun and watched them in a pine tree for about half an hour. I,m glad that we don,t get ground hogs. They sound a real nuisance. Glenn
Hi, Joel and everyone! I am proud to be one of the longest gardeners to be at Taylors. I have had my plot for over 28 years, and worked the same land with friends before that, who had an organic produce business. The Taylor property was deeded to the family by King George and is the oldest operating farm on the Delaware River, owned by the same family. They deeded this value land over to the nature conservancy, so it will never be developed, in an area that the family could have made millions by selling to developers. So I want to first of all, thank this wonderful family who have made it possible for people to have land to grow on and for keeping the wetlands and surrounding forests free from development forever. It is not uncommon to see one of the Bald Eagles, when working in the garden in the morning, but the some of the rest of the wild life is way unbalanced. There has been probably close to 1000 acres of development in the area of the farm withing the last ten years, wiping out habitat of thousands of animals- that is why we have so many problems with keeping what we grow for ourselves at the farm. I have now concentrated on using part of it to establish a safe haven for native endangered plants- both in sun and shade beds, as well as planting some non edibles - like the narcissus. We are going to plant in one of the best fenced in areas, and treat around it for ground hogs, while hoping the deer decide it is not worth trying to go under or over the fence. I will have my basils out there , some other annual herbs and collards. Some cut flowers and sunflowers too. I am going to plant mainly hot peppers-they seemed to escape the blight and the critters. I found if I plant hot peppers closest to the fence all around-they work as a slight deterrent, although by the end of the season the ground hog was actually trying to eat jalapeno peppers! Are you harvesting asparagus now? One of my friends here in South Jersey has been harvesting for a few weeks, but the Amish who live about 100 miles west of here in PA, could not cut yet this past week, because the temperatures dropped again. This area has many micro climates as well. I can harvest tomatoes right through October here in the yard and some years, we do not get a killing frost here in our yard till November, but the farm plot, closer to the river and not getting that heat from the city, usually has a killing frost at least a couple of weeks ahead of here at home- that is less than five miles away! People always think of NJ as a place you drive through on the turnpike and have no clue why we are called the "Garden State", but we not only have preserved more farmland than any other state, our family farms have been able to survive because they were mainly "truck farms", and are not as monoculture centered as other farming states. So that is my little history on the Taylor Family and their legacy in NJ as well as some more about what I grow.Thanks for asking! Green Blessings! Susan
Thanks Glenn, The land is well known as one of the best birding spots in NJ, so that is another plus to having my plot there. I am well aware of the site where you can actually read the license numbers on the vehicles in front of your house. I think it is nice because you can get a look at a beautiful place like Taylors, but at the same time it creeps me out that big brother is so invasive that it is a bit like looking into some one's bedroom window to me. Yes, if you are every going to be visiting the Philadelphia or New York City area, you should try and include part of NJ in your trip. I will be glad to point out little known or super great nature site,s and local food havens if you do. I am most knowledgeable about South of Trenton, but my future son in law is from the Northwestern corner of NJ, so he can fill in where I am not familiar. Groundhogs do cause some major destruction, but they weren't a problem in home gardens until recently. They always were for farmers, and dairy or beef farmers shoot them on site because their borrows can easily break a cows leg. A person leg can be broken or they can fall if they aren't watching were they are going when there is a large colony of these guys. And they are family oriented to boot. They like to stay near by their birth place, and although not quite as productive as rabbits, they still make lots of babies. Oh well, every garden has it's challenges and this is one of ours! Green Blessings! Susan

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