Monday, August 4, 2008

Asparagus Gardener Goes 18 Wheel'n - Come On Along

Big Rig 18 Wheeler: Takes Asparagus Garden To Salinas California Small Fruit Growers Workshop

The Asparagus Gardener Goes 18 Wheel'N To The BlackRaspberry Workshop in California
Grab a cup of coffee or a nice cold soda and come on along with me as I jump on board this "Big Rig" that is headed for California. I am going to ride out to California on this "Big Rig" and hopefully will get there in time for the California Black Raspberry/Blackberry Work Shop. This work shop is a 4 day event that has a lot of hands on work and learning for everyone.

Traffic. . . Like No Other
Get Ready Set Go!!!
As we head out the traffic is heavy but still moving. Finally after several hours we are through Tennesse . . . Arkansas. . . . and Oklhoma

Groom, Texas -- Outside Visit
This is Groom, Texas and this is the outside Stations of The Cross. Gotta make a pit stop here and ask the Lord to carry us safely to California. Never know when might be leaving this world. If you are every down this way please stop and visit everyone is welcome. After about 1 hr we load back up in the truck and roll on.

We pass through New Mexico and stop to admire the sunset. . . .

Some 30 hours later we arrive in Salinas, California. This is Driscols and I am just-in-time for the workshop. I thank the driver and ask him not to forget to come back in 4 days and get me. . . . I am like a kid in a candy store.

Going this workshops is hard work but it is ever so rewarding. We will work in groups of 4 and each person in the group is responsible for making a presentation on our research for the day. We learn to do many soils test, share ideas on picking, packing, and fields test for on irrgation planning and so on. The Small Fruit Growers are always trying to imporve on the growing and harvest systems already in place.

Endless Field of Black Raspberrys and Blackberry's

There are miles and miles of tunnels in every direction. The tunnels in this picture are made of steel hoops. The hoops hold up the commercial grade white plastic. The reason for the plastic is to sheild the berries from the sun. The shielding slows the growing process. The end result. . . .huge berry fruit. I saw berries bigger than my thumb.

Rows and Rows of Black Raspberrys

Most of the fruit that grows here will be consumer by the people in the United States.

There is a lot that is exported to but more as a processed food than a fresh fruit. Some countries do not have the climate suitable for growing Black Raspberrys and Blackberries so to satify their palate the berries are exported.

Workshops A Time For Work. . .Research. . .Learning and Meeting With Other Small Fruit Growers From Around the
United States.

I have been going to workshops for over 8 yrs now. Each and every workshop has great value to my on going development of my own Small Fruit Farming that I do. We are happy to say that we will have another field plowed down and planted with Black Raspberrys and Blackberries in the Spring. Just can't get enough of those round plumb sweet berry fruits.

Can You Hear It . . . . .Rum. . . . Rum. . . . .Hook. . . .Hook. . . . .
I can hear the roar of the Big Rig pulling into the parking lot.

I quick wave to all my friends and new acquaintances and I scramble to get my bags and run to meet the "Big Rig" that is waiting to run me back to Tennessee.

Thank you for coming a long with me . . .hope you have enjoyed the ride too.

Friday, July 18, 2008

"Elephant Garlic Plants and Cloves For Sale"

Elephant Garlic Plants and Cloves For Sale: Notoka Rose Garlic For Sale . . . great for braiding and easy to grow. Delicious For Sure!!

When To Harvest Elephant Garlic?
Elephant Garlic is fun and easy to grow. It takes very little care and will ward off insects and rabbits in your garden. Elephant Garlic as well as Notoka Rose Garlic can be planted in its own bed or it can be planted in between your other vegetables and flowers. The veggies will not pick up the garlic smell.

The picture above is an Elephant Garlic Plant. I left the purple flower on it. We have couple of customers that are florist and purchase the flower for making floral arrangements. If the flower is removed early on in its growing season the head of garlic that is growing in the soil will good even larger. So if you want extra large garic remove the flower.

When To Harvest Elephant Garlic?
The photo above shows that the second set of leaves are turning yellow. Harvest the garlic when the third set of leaves turns yellow. Also the leaves will turn dried and brown and the garlic plant will fall over.

Harvest Fast and Easy. . .
When the third set of leaves are yellow and brown and dried take a shovel and gently lift the whole plant out of the soil. Examine the Elephant Garlic plant . . . look to see if the paper parchment if pulling away from the bulb. If so your garlic is ready to come out of the garden.
If the paper parchment has not started coming loose from the bulb-head then gently set it back down in the soil and check it in a couple of days. Don't wait more than a couple of days or the head will split.

Have a great day!!

Curing Elephant Garlic or Notoka Rose Garlic
Next remember to place the garlic on a screen or hang the whole plant up so air can circulate around it. This is called curing. Turn the garlic over at least every other day. Cure the garlic for 3 weeks. Then cut off the leaves and roots. Elephant Garlic and Notoka Rose make really great gifts at holiday time.

Be sure and sign up for the "SAVE Me Some" Program for Spring 2009 planting . . . .


Friday, July 11, 2008

Black Raspberry Season !!

Black Raspberry Harvest 2008 Has Been Splendid!!

Our Black Raspberry and Blackberry harvest beings June 1 (right after Asparagus). At first we were worried about getting a late Winter frost. We watched, prayed and crossed our fingers that we would be spared.

The frost will not kill the plants but will take a toll on the amount of fruit that could be harvested. By time April came we were breathless as a few cold nights lingered on from March. We were lucky to be spared the dreadfull winter weather the rest of the country was getting. We breezed right on into May with no late frost. The frost season was finally behind us -- once we were in the clear we all started jumping and dancing out in the berry fields with joy. If you drove by our farm, you would have thought we were all "crazy people".

I have received questions from several gardeners about frost. I can say this: at the home gardening level it is easy to protect your Black Raspberry and Blackberry Fruit Plants. Just take a sheet, blanket, or plastic and throw it over the top of the plants. Don't worry about the roots they will be fine. It is the branches that you will want to protect. If you grow the Black Rasberries for Farmers Markets or the selling. Make sure you have some row covers on hand. They are inexpensive and easy to put on.

Covering your Black Raspberry Plants is fast and easy to do and will save your fruit harvest.

Here are some picture of our berries that we harvest this June.

Asparagus Plants/Roots For Sale - "Save Me Some 2009"

"Save Me Some" Asparagus Plants / Roots For Sale 2009
What Is The Asparagus Plants/Roots "Save Me Some Program?
This gardening program is a convenient way to have the Asparagus Plants /Root and other gardening plants "saved" for you for Spring 2009. The benefit of the Asparagus Plants/Roots Save Me Some program is to have the Asparagus Plants / Roots available when you want to plant. No more looking endlessly at garden shops . . . no more calling and hearing . . . "Sold Out ".

Fast. . . . Easy . . . . Simple
How Do We Go About Saving Asparagus Plants/Roots and Other Garden Plant?

Just click on this link

Then follow the steps on the Order Form. Be sure to include your address, email, and phone number. You then will receive an order confirmation and an Asparagus Planting Guide. Early next Spring we will contact you and then at that time we will complete the shipping and payment details.

Just that simple!!