Golden Grain Farms Bakery & Produce - Oklahoma Family Owned & Operated
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Organic Gardening

Spring Preparation

I've been very busy the past few months preparing for Spring. A lot goes on before it gets here.  I receive dozen of seed catalogues which I diligently look through.  This part I really enjoy.  You'd think I could purchase all my seed from one source, but that's not the case.  My new seed variety this year is organic seedless watermelon which is quite pricey.  I purchased the seeds, heated grow mat, grow light, potting soils, and cell trays to put them all in.

What & How Much to Grow

Deciding what and how much to grow can be overwhelming in the beginning.  When the gardening catalogues start arriving at my house, I sit down and browse through all of them.  Everything looks wonderful.
However, I must remember I'm getting older and just have so much energy so I stick with the basics.  First I decide what top 3 vegetables our family eats throughout the winter.  Our top 3 items are green beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  It's a very dreary winter if we don't have these in the pantry waiting to be eaten.

Gardening Replaces Minimum Wage Job

Gardening contributes to our psychological, spiritual, and physical well-being.  It can also contribute to the financial well-being of the family.  USDA estimates food costs for a household of four at different financial levels.  The information is found on their website athttp:// www.cnpp.usda.gov.  The thrifty level is $146 a week or $584. a month.  Low cost level is $191. a week or $764. a month, moderate level is $239 a week or $956 a month, and liberal level is $289 a week or $1156 a month.

Decision to Garden


The first step in planning a garden is to decide if you really want too.  I know that sounds simple, but if you are not emotionally committed to the garden season you will fail.  What is it worth to you to have a garden?  There is a monetary value on a garden. I will talk about that in my next article.  You also have to make a financial and physical commitment.  I can't help you with the physical but will give you tips to save money by selecting cheaper seed catalogues and making your own growing containers.

GARDEN BOUNTY

It was a successful morning in the garden.  I picked over a 5 gallon bucket of Organic produce.  There is approximately 4 gallons of cucumbers which I'll use for bread & butter pickles. Tomatoes of various ripeness, zucchini squash, baby kale & lettuce, mint, dill, chard, & zinnias for our dinner centerpiece.  The greens, dill, mint, tomatoes & cucumbers will be used for a fresh salad for our evening meal  Zucchini will be fried and the rest processed into zucchini relish.

Garden to Table

Garden to Table

In May southeast Oklahoma received historically rainfall.  We saw over 30 inches of rain in the month of May alone.  I thought I'd never get to put away my rubber boots.  As a result of the record rainfall amounts, most of the Spring garden washed away several times.  Since I'm an old-timer, I decided to plant a fall garden (on raised beds).  I planted zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, kale, lettuce, & herbs.  The tomatoes survived the Spring rains.

Easier Way to Plant 2000 Onions


Till the garden area where you plan on planting.  Make a shallow ditch or furrow and lay the onions on one side of the ditch.  I plant them 2 or 3 inches apart because I'll pull every other one to use as green onions when they get larger.  To cover onions, push the dirt from the other side of the ditch on the onions.  I walk along side the row an use my foot to push the dirt on the onions.  The onions will straighten up as they start growing toward the sun.  This process is easier than making a hole in the soil and pushing 2000 onions in the dirt.

ONION PLANTING

 
 
 
 
I" ve started planting Spring Onions (organic of course).  Because of recent rains the ground was very wet.  I'm not complaining about the moisture because Oklahoma is technically still in a drought.  However, I literally  sunk in the mud and walked out of my shoes. I captured this photo with my cell phone. Thank heavens I already had the ground worked before the rain started or I'd still be waiting to plant onions.
 
I've also planted kale, romaine lettuce, chard, & broccoli.

Organic Gardening

It's only January, but gardening is a year-round endeavor.  Organic gardeners must plan their gardeners carefully.  Good organic soil is a biological process that takes time and as keepers of the soil we must work with nature.  Last week a farm gal friend hauled a tank-full of cow manure to my farm.  She was on her way to pick up a couple of bulls some place else so we hurriedly unloaded the tank with my small tractor.  The load of manure was almost to heavy for my tractor.  Jess would direct me with hand gestures and I would edge the tractor up to the trailor.  Slowly, inch by inch, the tank of manure was moved until it finally dropped to the ground.  Actually, it was right in the middle of the driveway.  Using the front-end loader on the tractor, I gradually moved the tank of manure to the edge of my garden.  I sacked up goodies from my Bakery for Jess to take with her; bread and cinnamon rolls made from freshly ground organic Oklahoma wheat, jams & jellies made with my organic fruit, green beans from my garden, Hot Pickled Trio, Bread & Butter Pickles, etc.  No money exchanged hands.  You see, we used the old barter system in which one commodity is exchanged for another.  I have alot of farm connections and could find anything we might need if the need arose.  In our modern world we rely on stores to purchase what we want and need.  What if there were a natural disaster or some world event in which you couldn't do that.  Do you have the connections needed to provide for yourself and your family?  If not, you might think about how you could change that.   

DEHYDRATED KALE

The weather last Sunday was predicted to drop below freezing.  I decided to pick 2/3rds of my kale & dehydrate it to prevent a crop loss.  The dehydrated kale processed very nicely and can be used in stews, casseroles, etc. I searched the web for dehydrated kale and didn't find alot. If anyone knows of a good source, please let me know.      
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Recent Posts

Spring Preparation
What & How Much to Grow
Gardening Replaces Minimum Wage Job
Decision to Garden
GARDEN BOUNTY

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