Friday, May 23

Friday Farm Photo: Have a Freshly Picked Weekend.

Heirloom lettuce direct seeded in the kitchen garden the first part of April. Want to grow your own gourmet lettuce from seed? In this popular post I show you that it's easier than you think!

Do you have any plans this weekend? We usually hunker down at home for the holidays, though I do wish I'd thought to buy some potato chips the last time we were out.

In between munching on homemade sourdough rye French bread (a new experiment—so good toasted and topped with melty cheese and freshly laid fried eggs) and as much of this gorgeous lettuce as possible (we're racing the heat clock here), I'll be trying to get 50+ heirloom tomato plants, a few dozen heirloom pepper plants (after a several year break, I'm finally back to starting my tomatoes and peppers from seed!) and a bunch of other stuff in the ground.

More below. . .

Oh, and planting potatoes, if the scary sprouty Yukon Golds still sitting in the pantry from last year haven't turned to mush (I've been afraid to look). I know, I know, you're not supposed to plant your previous crop because of the risk of disease, but by the time I remembered to buy seed potatoes this spring, the local stores were already sold out. And besides, didn't everybody used to save and plant their own potatoes?

Most people around here plant their potatoes on St. Patrick's Day, which is too early for me, since we don't eat a lot of potatoes until it starts to cool back down, and the later they're ready, the longer they'll last (I store them right in the ground until we start getting hard freezes).

I'm running late with the peppers and tomatoes (and obviously the potatoes), but that's okay since we had an unexpected frost last week, a month past our "official" last frost date. No worries here, though; all my flats of tender seedlings still in the greenhouse were able to spend two nights safely back in the house. And the beds of young lettuce and bean plants did fine tucked under landscape blankets.

While all this gardening is going on, I'll actually be hoping I get rained out, since our two hayfields (we're also going to try haying Donkeyland this year—wish us luck!) really need some more moisture before we can cut. The grasses are already going to seed from the heat (before and after that freak frost), but the leaf growth just isn't there yet. And then of course when the hay is ready to cut, we need it to not rain. This is always a stressful time of year, when we're at the mercy of Mother Nature, waiting to see how much and what kind of hay we'll get.

We're also hoping to give 120+ pound, totally matted Marta Beast her annual shearing this weekend, a several hour job that can take place in the barn, rain or shine. I checked our supply of doggy downers and we have enough on hand to knock her out good. And this time we know we should wait two hours for the drugs to kick in instead of just one. She's a big sweetheart, but that growling gets a little scary.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend doing and eating things you love!

©, the homegrown foodie farm blog where it looks like we'll be making a quick dash into town this afternoon to pick up the weedeater at the repair shop (and a few more doggy downers from the vet, just in case). I hope the little grocery store isn't sold out of potato chips.


  1. I've never tried lettuce. I really should. I hope the shearing of Martha goes well!

  2. I'm out of potato chips too--downer. But the nearest store to me that has them is a lot closer than your nearest store. I will go tomorrow and stock up, because a house without (kettle-cooked, please) potato chips is a sad house indeed.

  3. I'm glad to know that someone else is getting some things into the garden late. Every year I get further behind in planting. My heirloom lettuce seeds went in after Easter, and recently I pulled up the bolted kale that wintered over and finally replaced them with new starts. Trying a new kind of cool season tomato - wish me luck! Before and after photos of Marta, please!

  4. Why not make your own potato chips? They are healthier and, of course, much fresher than the preserved ones. I always seem to forget that I can make pretty much every convenience food found in stores. It usually dawns on me after changing my menu.

  5. I'm late planting too. I've got the cool weather seeds planted in April. But the tomatoes I started in the kitchen window seriously need to be planted now. We got 6" of snow on Mothers Day and it has hailed every afternoon this week. I'm hoping next week is our planting week. And that's if the garden is dry enough. It's all clay soil and when it's muddy it's a nightmare.

  6. good to "see" you posting with much news. Thanks for sharing. I have been thinking of baking your easy raspberry bars. Those are always a hit!!! Have fun gardening.

  7. Hi Susan,

    Your plants look great! That's a lot of tomatoes and peppers... are you going into the salsa business :-)


  8. French sourdough rye???? Oh wowie! I took a brief hiatus from baking bread to shear off some winter luggage, but fired up Fred Jr. my starter this week and will be back in business in a couple days. My garden is also a work in progress, the harsh winter here took its toll-but the Siberian Iris and Icelandic Poppies seem to make it just fine. They probably thought they were back home.....

  9. The lettuce in our school raised bed gardens did great this year. My first graders enjoyed, while at the same time learned, watering and harvesting what they planted early this spring. The gardens have been a great way for the kids to learn where their food comes from. Many tasted spinach (for the first time) from the garden. I didn't have enough to satisfy their appetites!

  10. I love growing lettuce from seed! It's so pretty and it tastes so good.


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