The 2010 Micro-Farm Is Chuggin’ Along Into Summer

July 6th, 2010 - filed under: The Farm » Flora

IMG_0339Petunia Blue guards the henhouse from evil invaders.

Hello from HQ! It’s been a while since I’ve posted garden pictures, and this year’s tiny plot is finally taking off. These images are actually from a few weeks back, so there’s even more action now. We’ve had an exceptionally wet June and the extra moisture stunted some growth (tomatoes) while simultaneously stimulating others (gourds and greens). So it’s a mixed bag this year and who knows how it’ll all turn out . . . with my incredibly limited garden time, I’m just thrilled to be growing anything at all!

Let’s start in the front yard. You may remember my cherry tree discovery from last year. Well, this year was even more bountiful!



And recently Damian spent an afternoon high atop a ladder, harvesting . . .


We got maybe 6? Maybe 8? pounds of cherries. I can’t wait to show you what I did with them! Coming soon . . .

Moving around to the back and my 2 raised beds :

garden_with_labelsFor reference, this was the layout as of mid-May, just a few weeks after planting.

And here’s the righthand bed, as of mid June :

IMG_0310The beets (up top) and all the greens are flourishing.

IMG_0297Kale blend: mostly Red Bohr, some Dino.

IMG_0300The chard is so bright and beautiful. Thriving!

IMG_0304Happy little chard. Grow baby Grow!

IMG_0330The collards . . . mmm . . . I can’t wait to make them into RAW summer wraps!


IMG_0327And just like last year the pak choi bolted at the first sign of sunlight. I’ve already torn out this entire patch and replanted with some Farmer’s Market tomato starts! Meanwhile these guys went straight into my blender, NOM

To the far right of the bed (not pictured), strung up on an old box spring frame, are some sugar snap peas that I may have started too late. And on the other side of those (protected in their shade) are 6 little basil plants.

IMG_0331Cross your fingers for these guys – I’m *really* hoping to preserve pesto this year.

The lefthand bed is split between squashes and tomatoes. I started most of my tomatoes from seed sown directly into the ground. Not ideal, but I was busy with baby! The poor little guys damn near drowned in all the rain we’ve been having and they’re seriously stunted in growth. I don’t think any of the Goldens or the Green Zebras made it. But the cherries and the reds are finally starting to take off!

IMG_0318Precious cherry tomatoes that fed me so well last year, you can do it! I believe!

And the gourds are doing GREAT. I planted both pumpkin and acorn squash and got them in early enough for once. I expect I’ll be carving my homegrown goods this Hallowe’en!

IMG_0312Pumpkins in the foreground, acorn squash behind, w00t!

And of course beyond the boxes lies the strawberry/sunflower patch. My sunflowers were started from seed in the ground, but the made it!

The strawberries have been demoted to mere slug deterrent. Waits gets gas when I eat them, and if I leave them on the bush they draw the slugs away from my greens. So, this veganic method is working well for us this year! You can also see in some of the other pictures, I’ve lined the beds with copper tape. This has been *excellent* for keeping slugs out of my goodies. Highly recommend!

IMG_0334The strawberries and the sunflowers (with the compost in the background).


And that’s the micro-farm! So what about you, my dears? How are your gardens growing??

  • Amanda

    Maaaan! I’m totally envious of your cherry tree. One of my favorite pastimes in summer is eating cherries until I’m about to burst! ;D

    This is really my first garden so I just kept it simple with tomatoes and chard. I have a front yard which gets full sun and I’ve dug out a plot to grow a huge bed of tomatoes which are doing well. Lots of yellow flowers tell me this year will be fruitful! The chard is doing well too. Although, since I’ve been preggers for some reason the idea of eating it makes me feel sick. haha! Weirdness, I know. I’ve also found some raspberries growing on the side of the house. No idea how they got there. Any idea if I can relocate them? I’d love to expand every year once I know that I can handle growing crops. Maybe next year I’ll try watermelons OR possibly something more realistic for our wet Oregon climate. ;-)

    May your garden grow well this year!

  • Heather

    beautiful garden!! love all the greenage :) yum!
    ours is doing well considering several hailstorms have ravaged some of the plants. but we just started harvesting some snap peas and the bell peppers are about ready, too.

  • erosan

    Micro!? compared to mine, its huge!

    Also, I think I might just suffer from whatever is the oposite to green thumb. I planted lots of tomatoes, and half of them didn’t made it, the mint was ok until 2 days ago and so was the basil… but it’s been super hot then super rainy then super hot again and I don’t think the plants are coping well with all the changes >_<

    Oh well… It's always nice to read about your garden. It makes me jealous (in a good way) of you.


  • Youth Farmer Mia

    our farm is doing awesome – we did the copper around the beds ( I bought roofing copper because it ended up a better deal to buy it and cut myself than buy the copper tape). Haven’t seen any sign of the slug buggers since. snow peas are almost over, first tomatoe showed up last week, strawberries have been fantastic since late May. We had the same problem with the Pak Choy. have to rip it all out. *sigh*

  • Sarah

    I <3 the cherries!! It's wet season here in Florida, so all my plants are soggy and waiting for it to dry out again :)

    A question for you, if you don't mind-what do you do with your chickadees eggs?

  • Rea

    Simply beautiful. :)

  • Tenise Rae

    Oooh, cherry tree!! Very nice. I’d love to hear more about this. I’ve been wanting to purchase a fruit tree for our new yard but have been undecided on what type. I’m quite leery about the mess they make honestly. Keep us posted please. :D

    My little garden patch is goin’ good. I only have a couple tomato plants and a lemon cucumber. Upon moving into our house last month I slowly began to realize that my new veggie beds were the neighborhoods litter box. :-\ One didn’t get it as bad though…just a couple of poops. So I dug and dug, amended soil, mulched, etc. etc., and finally feel relatively safe about planting veggie plants. The other two beds….well, they need some more help. One I’m completely ignoring in hopes that the cat defecation will break down by next year. The other bed ended up sprouting a TON of plants that I thought at first were just wildflowers. After a few weeks I began to notice small flowers that were so incredibly similar to tomato blooms that I seriously thought I had some kind of weird tomato plants taking over my beds. Luckily I had the wonderful people over at LJ (Live Journal) help me to identify the plants as Black Nightshade…which are in the family of tomatoes and potatoes…but do not produce edible fruit. Ehem…correction, I guess once the fruit is solid black they are edible. Nobody sounded to excited about eating them though. LOL. Sooo, I’m leaving the plants currently where they are until later in the year when I can pull them before fruit drops only to leave more seeds. If I pull them now the cats are bound to think I did it for them. So, until I’m a little more organized and have time to dedicate to the garden, the Black Nightshade stays. Now if I can only remember to keep watering. My previous house had a timed watering schedule. Now it’s a little different until I can figure out a drip line or something… :D

  • Sayward

    Hi everyone! Love hearing about all your gardens. Feel free to include links if you have pictures or blog about what you grow. I’d love to see!

    @ Tenise Rae – Hey girl, it’s great to hear from you! I was wondering where you disappeared to – hope the move was smooth and life has settled down!

  • Youth Farmer Mia – - – this is the link to the farm. We’ve just uploaded all the photos so you’ll be able to see the farm go from abandoned weed patch to a real farm. we just harvested some beets yesterday, and they are delicious!

  • Rebecca

    Love the hen house!

    While I am on “vacation” (yep..that’s vacation in quotes!) I am having separation anxiety from my gardening plot. I am interested to see if time away from my over-nurturing ways has done my garden good or if it is experiencing a bout of loneliness (like how I have personified my garden as if it were a pet? Luckily my pooch is here in my care and is a-ok!)

  • saundra

    mine is doing alright not really producing much i have some red bell peppers coming on and my tomatoes seem to be doing much better now.. unfortunately i am very sad to say my little chicken shelldon who i bought back in april at a chili festival was gotten by one of my nieghbors dogs and is no more. i was so sad and thekids cried but i can’t do anything about it now. :( trying to think positively about it.. we’ll be getting some new chicks soon as my hubby makes a good chicken coop for them. other than that garden is doing good beans are up tomatoes and peppers are growing basil and anise came up (really excited about anise) and squash is finally blooming.

  • Meghan

    Your garden is AWESOME! I was surprised to read about your basil being protected by the shade… I always thought basil loved sun.

  • Sayward

    @ Youth Farmer Mia – Awesome, looks great! Did you guys end up doing potato tires?

    @ saundra – Aw, I’m so sorry you lost your little lady. =( I hope it all works out for you in the future. Have you considered adopting a hen, like off of Craigslist, instead of buying chicks? (just like with dogs, it’s better to adopt than to support the breeding industry!)

    @ Meghan – I know right?? But every year I kill basil, death by sunlight. I figured this year I’d try something different, and so far it’s working. We’ll see . . .

  • saundra

    i’ll look into it.. the only problem is here in oklahoma people are more likely to eat a problem chicken than to give it away/sell it and there are sooooo many chicken breeders its crazy i dont like the way they keep them but i don’t know if i have any choice reallyif i want a chicken. not around here anyway.. but i have seen a few yards with chickens everywhere i might get up the courage to ask them..

  • Sayward

    @ saundra – That’s an idea! Just walk up to someone who seems to have a big flock in their yard, haha. I’ll bet they’d part with one, and that’s certainly one life you would be saving! (although it’s always best to get at least 2, since they’re social animals)

  • Nicole Edson

    We haven’t done nearly as much work in the garden as I’d hoped, but we had good luck with snap peas, and the pole beans are coming along.

    Are you planning on attending the chicken coop tour this year? (

  • Sayward

    @ Nicole Edson – Mmmm, I’ve been loving snap peas this year! And unfortunately we’re skipping the tour this year. Waits is still a bit young. I’m sure next year we’ll do it, the biking version of course, with Waits strapped to the bike like a good little Portland kid! =D

  • http://noneyet Beth DeLashmutt-Poore

    Sayward dear — first of all, is that your REAL name? Second of all, I love you already and I just happened upon your site this morning when I was seeking a way to unclog my tub drain in an earth-friendly way. Now that I’ve found you, I’d like to keep in touch . . . thought I would share a photo of my sideyard which is my urban farm called Beth’s Yarden (you’ll have to tell me how to get it to you). Thank you for inspiring me to keep going with my yearn to live in harmony with our beautiful home, Mother Earth.

  • Sayward

    @ Beth DeLashmutt-Poore – Haha, yes, Sayward is my given name! If I were to name myself it would be something much feistier, like Moxie Anonymous!

    So glad you like the site! Welcome! Can you post a link to a picture?

  • Beth DeLashmutt-Poore

    Feisty, Moxie, Say . . . whatever your name shall be called . . . post a link to my pics? Now that would mean I’d have to have a website or a blog and actually be putting myself out there to the world, yes? Not to mix technology inquiry with the natural world but is that how I would have to share my pics with you? (Ooops, Beth, your age is showing . . . ) Thanks for the insight!

  • Sayward

    @ Beth DeLashmutt-Poore – Yup, alas I think that would be the only way. Sorry!

  • Brigida

    Thanks so much for the inspiration! I’m gonna get my piece of land soon =D and gonna get lots of yummy veggies growing!
    Cheers ~