Thursday, 22 July 2010


I have been reading through a very cool book, The Homebrewers Garden. It explains how to grow hops and grains, and also numerous other herbs for brewing. Most of the herbs cultivated today were used in brewing 1-2-400 years ago. It is my desire to at least me malting my own barley and growing hops and some of the other herbs. I don't know if I will get to grow barley next year or not, but if I think I have enough space, then I will try a small plot with barley.

Speaking on hops, I have quite a few on my hop vine! I cannot believe how big it is. It grew to the top of the pole, and halfway down, and sent shoots ALL over the place! I think I might get a couple ounces of hops this fall!

I have not really had to water my plants for the last two months, and I am happy to say, the only things that have suffered from it are the tomatoes. My parsnips are getting close to 24 inches. My onions are very nice. My shallots are doing well. And my leeks are growing fabulous.

My corn is growing well, and Saturday night and last night a raccoon has come and eaten at least one ear of corn. It's not even ripe! Maybe he is getting me back. In the spring Tasha (our dog) chased a raccoon out of the blackberry patch, he ran right past me, tearing at my bare legs with his venomous teeth, foaming at the mouth. Sorry, I made up that last part. But he did run right past me. And, it probably is the same one. We see his prints all the time in the creek.

Basil is doing well. Mint is growing, maybe a little too well? :) Horehound is well, I think I will harvest some next year. Comfrey, I've harvested TONS of it and it is growing madly!

When can I plant peas for a fall crop? I think I have about 15 heads of cabbage, that are doing alright, about half of them are about half as big as the others.

I am planning on using a couple row covers next year. I'm tired of worms in my cabbage. Do you know what row covers are? It is a hoop house greenhouse, except instead of plastic you use a fine mesh fabric. The results? Plants that are VERY healthy, and don't need ANY pesticides or insecticides of ANY kind, organic, or nonorganic. A lot of farmers that are growing organicly and I think some that are not certified are using them. The main cost is the fabric. Which, actually, thinking about it, couldn't you probably just buy white fabric, of the right kind at a cloth store? Or, maybe it would be wide enough? Some ideas to think about.

I planted chickling vetch and winter rye this morning. I did it where I planted the zucchini early spring. I discovered that the deer had visited the sweet potatoes (ate all the leaves off one vine that was 2.5' long) and watermelon. Well, I know one thing, I know where I am growing watermelon next year! Closer to the greenhouse, maybe under a row cover.

Maybe I can get around to planting some brassica later today. I go down to the garden to do one thing, and I see all the other things it needs. More poles for the beans. Weeding for the sweet potatoes etc.

Well, I'd better go, and see what I can do for the rest of the day!

God Bless!

English Vintner

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