2018 Harvest Recap

As I start to ponder possibilities of next years growing season already, I’m so utterly saddened by not making this post sooner. See, I had possibly hundreds of beautiful photos from throughout this growing and harvest season saved on my work phone. Well, after (what I thought) had been uploaded to my computer before leaving my old job and retiring said phone, come to find out hardly any of them were transferred. Just folders with blank files. TEARS.

I had So, SO many beautiful flowers and veggies and progress pictures to remember but alas I suppose next year will start anew.

This year we added one thing to the farm we hadn’t done before: cut flowers! It was in my opinion a wonderful success for both my mind and soul and even sold some bouquets the roadside market we opened this year! Which is probably half of the reason this post never came sooner…. what a busy summer! Not only did we manage to start selling from the farm, continued to can/freeze/supply ourselves with food for the winter, but in the middle of summer the most magical moment occurred on the top of our hill beneath the moon and the stars……. WE GOT ENGAGED!!!!!!

Ahhhh! My heart still flutters thinking about it.

I won’t bore you with all the mushy stuff but man, lets just say wedding planning is turning out to be muuuuch more complicated than garden planning!

Some other fun things we added this year were a new, refurbished chicken coop, turkey poult sales, and a brand new compact tractor!! (Eric will probably say this was the highlight of his year) and began renovations on the downstairs bathroom.

This was by far the wettest year I can remember, flooding was non-stop and we had some bad scares but were fortunate enough to not lose any structures. Many towns around us suffered greatly and are still unable to repair/rebuild. Benton was hit hard – Erics parents purchased a property up the road from us this year but were also lucky to not have any significant damages.

OH almost forgot we both also got new jobs at the end of this year, did our first ever mini-triathlon, and snuck in a few vacations and lake days too!

Phew. That’s quite a bit to happen in 365 days.

Now, back to the harvests and plants! I had so many new things to grow this year, some of it worked and some of it didn’t. It’s hard to say whether the varieties themselves didn’t germinate well or if it had to do with the weather, i mean for goodness sakes I even saw corn resprouting in the fields this year it was that bad!

The Issues:

>Peanuts and Cotton- the starters were great but they ended up being in too wet of a location with not enough sun.

>Melons /Squash- I had more squash beetles than I’ve ever seen this year, even with companion planting. Definitely going to combat these early on in 2019!

>Dry shelling beans – TOO WET! I think the varieties I grew overall would have had great yields but there was such a small window to harvest that I wound up getting a terribly low yield that were salvageable.

THE GOOD:

>Cucamelons were a hit! Tiny little cucumbers with a lemon burst to them that grow like wildfire. Pain in the a** to harvest the little buggers though.

>Heirloom tomatoes: atomic grape is a definite must next year alongside patty’s striped beefsteak. I’m ruling out black vernaissage, green zebra, and black cherry. Looking for more blight resistant and yellow varieties next year.

>As usual string beans and cucumbers were thriving. This year peppers were on fire too!

>Okra – It was worth a blue ribbon at Bloom fair so its fine by me!

>Celery – SO. MUCH. CELERY. On the plus side it was pretty cold tolerant so even the stuff I didn’t get to harvest right away was alright outside longer than expected.

>Broccoli and Cauliflower from starters finally! Whoop! Saving those varieites for next time!

We won our first ribbons at the fair this year – out of 10 entries 5 placed!

Fresh okra won a blue ribbon, Mango Jalapeno jam recieved a blue AND best in show, Sloppy Joe won 3rd, and Creole pickled Okra won third place and my sweet cherry tomato compote recieved a red ribbon in their respective classes.

I hadn’t been expecting much since I was away for the entries and had Eric haul everything down, but now that I know how well it went maybe we will be expanding entries next year!

This year should be full of adventure and learning, our cut flowers are moving into the garden (and pretty much taking over) in order to provide for the wedding. A semi-local mushroom farm is looking into opening a new space nearby as a fresh market for local farms and growers/makers! That may be opening up in April so keep your eyes peeled for some of our local goodies to be selling soon! 🙂


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