Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Corn-Beans-Squash, and lipstick on a pig...

Earlier sunsets couldn't have come too soon. All of the harvesting, weeding, and soil preparation for next year's beds made for some long days in July and August. I thought I'd share a few quick pictures and updates. Here's a picture of our 600 row feet of sweet corn, two types of pole beans and various squashes (and a few watermelons thrown in to see how they would do).
Not too bad for our first attempt. This is a photo from late July. It looked fairly orderly back then. Now the rows are nearly impassible with squash and beans running amok and a few corn stalks getting pulled over in the chaos. The corn has done great, beans are everywhere, and the squash vines just keep on spreading. The squash in the southern-most row seemed to get too much sun, and the watermelons south of corn row 2 (out of 6, 1 farthest north and 6 farthest south) was a bit too shaded. Looks like next season we'll try the CoBeSqua in a series of northeast to southwest diagonal rows, where we had our potatoes this year. We'll have to see how that changes the overall shading of paths. There will also be more space between the rows of corn. I may even try a double row of corn to see if that helps them stand up better.

Our friend Scott has been teaching us some of the ways that Native Americans have traditionally managed their "Three Sisters" mounds (he calls our variation on the theme "the three amigas"). Here's a picture of how great his look:

Yeah, that's him, shaded by the monstrous corn, partially hidden by the out of control peppers, and the huge tobacco plants in front. Did we mention that he's 6 feet tall? Scott's garden plot always looks much better than the rest of the farm. He's a great teacher and we've learned a ton from him.

It's been a challenge to find farm partners who fit with our beliefs and goals for the farm -- we'll miss him and his influence here when he moves on from Ithaca.

We hope to find someone who will take his plot for next year, but our friends who rent next door -- and who grew potatoes on our side of our shared fence -- it looks like they might be moving, too. sigh.

On to a more light-hearted topic: The funniest photo of the week. "Lil' red," who is no longer a little pig, had quite a feast with the left-over elderberries after we made the latest batch of syrup. And yes, the purple pigments from the berries kept their color on her snout and mouth for a couple of hours. Even longer than the spa-quality clay stuck on her forehead. She's one glamorous girl!

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