Wednesday, October 28, 2009

400 in the ground - only ~5,500 more to go!

We finally started actually putting garlic cloves in the ground today in their freshly made raised beds that had been plowed, disked twice, planted with late summer buckwheat for some green manure, 30 yards of wonderful compost from Ann Arbor (from our city's billions of leaves!), all disked down and into the soil, 14-70 foot beds made and then raked smooth with as many grass clods, rocks, and sticks removed as possible (thank goodness for our trusty tractor!), and finally my clever husband made some multi-point garlic planting dibbles using pieces from an old wooden swing set on the property that we dismantled.

Here are some photos to enjoy:

(Photo: where the road changes from pavement to dirt on the way to the farm)

(Photo: the growing pile of rocks from our fields by the driveway)

(Photo: the 30 yards of compost delivered to spread on the field where the garlic will be planted)

(Photo: the first raised bed to be planted with garlic is the 2nd from the left - the first one just has too much grass in it yet)

(Photo: Dick starting the garlic planting process - yes on our knees and/or bottoms! It took us about 2 hours working together to plant the first 400 cloves)

(Photo - I'm the one with good knees! Up, down, up, down - eventually I realized that with the sun on my back, this was enough exercise that I was able to take off a couple of layers of shirts. Our jeans went right down to the basement into the washing machine when we arrived home. We'll be putting the washing machine in our farm house on the first floor right near the garage entrance to the house!)

Not much to report about progress on our house as the focus has been the steep learning curve for getting the land ready to plant this fall. However, it does appear that the work we have done over the summer to get our basement dry has finally paid off - whew!

A few more photos of Fall at the farm:
(Photos: Two beautiful trees with our beehive in the background)

(Photo: South side of the house - we'll have to work on getting rid of the non-native plant Phragmities - sigh)

(Photo: Looking west side from the house - this is where we will try to re-establish a small prairie)

(Photo - I'm spreading milkweed and other seeds from many of the prairie plants in our current home's front yard landscaping)

(Photo: Kaya in her new vest to let everyone know she is NOT a deer!)

(Photo: Christmas Calico Lima Beans, grown by Tantré Farms and given to me today by my friend Kim. I'll tuck them away to save in order to plant next spring. I love having things to look forward to! Does this photo look familiar? I'll bet it does. The same pose is on the front cover of the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.)

Our fall colors in Michigan have been spectacular this year, positively glowing with bright reds, yellows, and oranges even when the sun was not shining (most of the time these days). With the leaves now starting to drop, we are starting to actually see more of the neighboring homes and fields. Bit by bit, we are getting settled into the neighborhood! We feel so lucky and appreciative for this opportunity to heal this house and land. :-)

"Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row"

Diana Dyer, MS, RD


Kateri said...

That is a lot of garlic! It makes me wonder how many cloves we planted each fall by hand on my parents' farm. (No one ever thought to count.)I got a token crop in this fall, but not as much as I would usually plant. I just couldn't imagine next year without a least a handful of fresh harvested garlic. =) What varieties are you growing? I will have to buy some from you next July/Aug!

Anonymous said...

Dianna...a slice of heaven...enjoy!!!!


Diana Dyer said...

Hi Kateri
Yes that is a lot of garlic but in reality, it is a "small" commercial planting. We'll be planting 29 varieties to test which will grow best in our soil and climate. So if you buy garlic from us, then we'll buy other produce from additional local farmers. That will keep us all in business helping to both diversify and rebuild Michigan's economy!

Diana Dyer said...

My husband recounted the number of garlic varieties we'll be planting, and it is closer to 50! He has a master spreadsheet to keep track of what, how much, where it was purchased, where and when it is planted, etc, etc. They are all from organically grown garlic seed stock, purchased from suppliers in our northern climate states (nothing, nothing, nothing from China, Mexico, or Argentina).

Maggie said...

Beautiful photos! I can't wait to see your farm develop. When do you start work on the house?

Ali said...

Hi Diana,
The photos of the farm are beautiful! I'm glad Kaya has a nice bright orange vest. Wish we were there to help with the planting!!

janet said...

Love the vest your dog is wearing!
What a job planting all that garlic.

Anonymous said...

So beautiful! I'm so happy you've found your dream farm!

kim said...

You both look so happy. I love hearing you describe your new "farm"! You have a tractor so it must be true.

Anonymous said...

WOW! Diana - I am so happy for you and Richard! And for the rest of us who get to try your garlic someday. So glad to see you found the right farm. Mazel tov!