Saturday we planted sweet potatoes right before storms that brought us half an inch of rain. I had gotten the slips from a farm west of us near Ephrata where they propagate sweet potatoes in large wooden boxes on the floor of their green houses.
The sweet potato tubers are placed on a layer of potting soil and then covered just barely with soil & a thin layer of vermiculite to hold extra moisture. As they sprout and make slips, the Martins add a thicker layer of potting soil to encourage the slips to grow more roots.
I picked over one thousand slips with Mrs. Martin while her husband and son were planting watermelons in the field using their team of percheron horses to pull the wagon carrying transplants.
We made mini-hills in our garden before planting because these taters prefer a warm soil that drains well. Planting accomplished before lunch time as the thunderclouds filled the sky holding the first drink of rain for these new transplants.
This has been a momentous week! Wednesday evening found us digging drainage ditches in a downpour rerouting the water that threatened to expose the fragile roots of our young transplants and carry away seeds recently sown.
During the deluge three new additions to our farm were peacefully grazing in the north pasture. They are australian lowline cattle raised by our wonderful neighbors (http://www.bblowlines.com/) They have a more compact frame than most beef cattle and are more efficient converters of pasture to meat. Sean is setting up paddocks and a water system so we can move them & several more around our pasture during the season.
Thursday morning dawned calm and warm and we had the pleasure of doing the first market harvest! On the menu: baby boc choy, red russian and curly kale, dandelion greens, and green garlic. We sold our harvest along with herb and vegetable transplants raised from seed.
After market we sat down to eat our first home grown boc choy and green garlic sauteed...yum!
Yesterday we added to our menagerie and brought home 6 sheep to establish a flock of hair sheep crosses and work on mowing our grass. Hair sheep shed instead of requiring shearing of their wool. These sheep have several different blood lines, but a good portion of Katahdin (a variety of hair sheep). They have been learning the electric fence and grazing steadily..