Friday, May 4, 2012

Cold Frame and Garden Update With a Splash of Goat Milk

Remember the cold frame that the man built for me? We are finally getting greens and they are great! No bugs or slugs and easy as pie to wash which makes me want to make more salads. You in southern climes probably can't relate because you are already getting tomatoes and your squash plants are huge. We up here are waiting for peas, and it hasn't been that long since our last frost. (April first-ish?) Our last bout with snow was March 17th even though it didn't stick it wasn't what you would call gardening weather. Since then it has been windy and almost constantly rainy (really cold and wet rain that lasts all day) with just a few days of reprieve so our growing season doesn't really start until May. You still have to get the stuff in the ground in order to get anything out so gardeners here are a tough breed. Temperatures here can be as low as mid forties upper 30's. The highest so far have been barely 60. This is great for lettuce, peas, potatoes, and cabbage type stuff but not beans and tomatoes. So that is why the cold frame. I need fresh greens before June! My potatoes are in and coming up although I still have a few I haven't put in. Mainly the russets.

I am (as usual) experimenting with a technique for the peas. I love fresh sugar snap peas. I hate trellising them. It's a pain in the a$$ and the string type trellis just seems to be flimsy and falling over all the time. Not only that we have birds (robins I think) that love sprouting peas. They come down in the garden and peck out the newly emerging pea plant so that the next time I go down to the garden I find neat little holes exactly where my plants were, all in a neat little row as if they just went down the line and plucked them out one by one. So this year I think I have foiled the little buggers. Like last year for the broccoli and cauliflower plants I covered the ground with nylon netting from the fabric store. bug covers for cool weather gardens This stuff is cheap, reusable, lets in all the light and water, and the birds don't like it. heheheh. I simply spread the netting over the planted area and put in a garden stake to hold it in place so the wind couldn't blow it off. You only need to do this until the plants are about an inch tall. The birds leave them alone after that. Then you can remove them so the peas don't grow up through them.  For trellises I am trying upside down tomato cages. I'm not sure if the pea plants will be able to grip the metal on the cages but if not I will figure out what to do about that but I am hoping for pea tee pees. I wrapped the fabric around the bottom of the cages and held it in place with clothes pins. It has worked like a charm. I removed the fabric and I have lots of peas coming up. In case you noticed that some are planted in rows and some in tee pees it is because I didn't think of the cage idea until I was half way done. So this will be a real experiment with a control group. Ha!

 So here are the results!

Other than that I have been very busy baking, teaching a class last weekend and making cheese. I don't have goats anymore but I still go over to my breeders farm and buy goats milk from her. She has Kinder Goats which is what I had. They are the best little goat ever. They are great milkers, easy kidders, and a good size for meat. They also seem to be less trouble than the bigger goats as far as escaping and taking care of in general. I guess I will have to dig out some of my old pictures and do a special blog on them. I do miss the babies and she had a ton of them. All of them friendly. I even had one that jumped into my arms. At any rate I have been making simple cheese with the fresh milk and a chocolate goat milk ice cream that my kids ate up as fast as they could get it in their mouths. Come to think of it the cheese is gone too. Guess I better go make some. I'll take pictures this time.


Izzy said...

Nice job on the garden and yes I'd like your fertilizer recipe if you can find it.

Modern Day Redneck said...

Love the cold frame.
We in the Southern areas that have the huge squash plants are starting to wish we were up there. It hit 97 degrees at the house today.

sista said...

97 is too hot for me. I will have to tell you my funny story about going to Eastern Washington (where it is hot) and almost dying in the heat. Maybe not dying but getting sick for sure.

Leigh said...

Kinders! My first Kinder kids are due this month. After a bit of research we decided that Kinder was the breed for us. I would absolutely love for you to show us your pix and tell us about them. Please drop me a line when you do! I have a hard time making regular blog visits these days.

Your cold frame looks wonderful by the way. Makes me hungry for lettuce because ours is done and bolting.

Stevie said...

We are weaning some babies here and have another goat due to kid soon. Hopefully, we will then have extra milk for cheese and ice cream. Until then we are still on rationing!! even the barn cat is waiting excitedly until we are looser with the milk :)