Spring 2014

This Spring was wonderful! Apart from the latest freeze in 120 years, the weather was perfect. We had moderate temperatures and good rains.

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Our flowers did amazing. We were able to make 60 flower bouquets for several of our Saturday markets. And we appreciate all our flower costumers, who come back every week for a fresh bouquet!

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We did have to replant all our plants after that late freeze, but thankfully we had started three times the amount our plants needed.

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Our produce also enjoyed the mild weather. We tried some new varieties this year and were very pleased with some of them. We liked the Armenian cucumbers in the spring, although the Summer proved too much for them! We loved the Asian Long Beans, they were reliant, prolific, and very tasty!

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Though it had a rocky start, Spring was a wonderful start for the growing season. We here at Stonebranch MicroFarm hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did!

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Self-Wicking Beds

This winter we have added self-wicking beds for a hundred blackberry plants. Self-wicking beds are an awesome way to conserve water. They are used mainly in Australia, where they are enduring a 20 year drought!

 

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The first step was to dig. Although we do almost everything by hand, we decided to rent a back-hoe for a week in order to get the berry plants in as quickly as possible.

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With self-wicking beds, a trench is dug. Plastic lines the bottom of the trench, the irrigation pipe (Drainfield pipe) is laid in the trench, and wood chips cover all of that.

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This wood chip covered trench is the path and the beds are on either side. The water fills the trench and is wicked up naturally into the beds.

0201141052_01                                                                       Once the paths were done, we started to prepare the beds. We added fertilizer, sea minerals, and compost to the existing soil.

0203141052_010116141128_01                                                                     Then we added our one hundred blackberry plants.

0212141410_01                                                                      Since this area was a field, we don’t want to fight through the weeds to get to the berries. The next step is covering the beds with cardboard and a thick layer of mulch.

We all pitched in to get the job done!

20140203_131256                                                                                       And the hard work wore some of us out!

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For more info on self-wicking beds go to waterright.com.au

 

Preparing for Winter

October is a great time for gardening. The summer veg comes to life again with gusto. The flowers are out doing themselves. The rain finally gives us a much needed break in the dry and the heat. And suddenly the relatively calm summer becomes a busy push for new beds, winter planting, and planning.

CAM00296Putting in our new beds.

We have a ton to get done before the winter comes! We have had to purchase new plastic for our green-houses. We can’t really complain about this since the last plastic lasted almost ten years!

CAM00298Chard coming up.

I am busy planting lettuce, carrots, beets, kale, chard, etc. And little green leaves keep popping up everywhere. I love the change in seasons. It is always exciting planting something new.

CAM00299Watering the seeds.

I can’t mind watering all those seeds knowing that God’s going to water them for me for the next three days!

CAM00295Taking a break!

Link

Lake Forest Farm

We here at Stonebranch MicroFarm are excited about Lake Forest Farm’s new farm stand in McKinney! They have teamed up with local producers to offer a variety of farm fresh veggies as well as our fresh flower bouquets. I encourage everyone to check out their web-site and swing by the stand! 

The Dog (and Cat) Days of Summer

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We are all enjoying this cooler weather that we are being blessed with! I wish it would only last! It didn’t bring us much rain, but with days in the 90s there will be no complaints from us!

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All the plants have survived the dry and the heat of the summer. We are busy harvesting for our markets twice a week. To replace our blackberries crop, Asian pears were the next fruit crop to get ready. After the first week of giving away samples, they sold like hot-cakes! They might have been small and ugly, but they were super tasty and sweet like candy. We had a great yield from our two trees, but we picked the last Friday.

The figs are now getting ready! We had about twenty half-pints at market on Saturday. It is amazing the amount of customers who say they have never had fresh figs! We have quite a few fig trees and they seasons very, so we should have figs for a while.

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What keeps us more busy than anything is the flowers. For the Saturday market we start cutting flowers before the sun is full up and by lunch most of the flowers are in buckets in the house. That’s when I start arranging them in the vases. That takes the rest of the day! We make 55 flower bouquets for a Saturday market!

0812130811b_01From field….0809131149a_01…to house…1005120923_01  …to jar…

… to you!

We count it a blessing to grow good organic food for our customers! And the flowers are a way our customers can bring a little bit of the beauty of our farm home with them.

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