Cricket Song Farm

Cricket Song Farm

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Escalante Arts Festival

Hi Ya'll,

Our whole married life, we have never done anything special, or gone anywhere exciting for our anniversary (hubby always worked 6:40 a.m. til 11:00 p.m. and Saturdays, but with his job change, he has evenings off ( home by 6;00 p.m.) and doesn't work on Saturday, so we decided to do something this year,  THIRTY years is definitely something to celebrate.

my rendition of a "just married"  sign

Met the kids in Cedar City for breakfast at the park .  My daughter found this and gave it to me!
Thanks Dodie, I have hunted for one all my life!  

 Took off camping in the Southern Utah wilderness and visited several National and State parks.  Stayed in little Gypsy Rose at the Petrified Forest State Park as base camp.

  I picked a whole bunch of tomatoes before we left thinking it will probably freeze before I get back. Been eating tomato sandwiches until I don't think I want one for another year.  Had so many tomatoes  we shared them with everyone at the campgrounds.   Hubby of thirty years left Sunday to go back to work and I have stayed for the annual Escalante Arts Festival in celebration of Everett Ruess, a young artist and poet who disappeared in the wilderness of the Grand Escalante Staircase area in 1934.  He is a fascinating person, look him up on the net.  Many books are also written about him.    I will spend a week of Plein Air painting, entering several competitions (which is rather ridiculous, I can't compete with these great painters) and just enjoying the company of other artists.
 Sorry I missed market last week and will not be there again this week.  I'll let you know all about my trip when I get back.  Have a great week!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Now is the time to plant garlic and perinnial onions

Fall is the best time for planting garlic.  If your winters are long and cold get them in the ground in mid September.  This allows the bulbs to put out roots before winter weather sets in.  The hard neck varieties do best in my zone 4 growing season (1a in the western garden book).  If you are wanting to plant Elephant Garlic  it does not do well in cold areas without some sort of covering.  I have used a 4 inch bed of straw placed over an outdoor planting, but usually suffer a fifty percent loss due to winter kill.  The past few years I have only planted the Elephant Garlic in the Greenhouse with a thick layer of mulch and it has done extremely well.

Plant individual cloves about 3-4 inches apart with the root side down, pointed side up.  Garlic likes loose, viable soil so add plenty of organic matter and till into the soil before planting.  Water well and cover with a thick layer of mulch.

If you do not have a greenhouse try planting garlic in a large cold frame

garlic is one of the first plants in my greenhouse to break ground in the early spring
(we feed the tender weeds to the hens so I just let them grow freely until we start planting tomatoes)

Egyptian or Walking Onion bulbs should also be planted in the fall.  Simply break them apart and plant the individual bulbs with a 3 inch spacing.  Do not dig up the mature plant.  It will winter over, multiply underground, and send up new growth in the spring.  Dig the onions for table use before they send up the long flower spike.  The bulbs become pithy as they put their energy into producing the tiny new plants at the end of the spike.  If left unattended the spike will eventually fall over to the ground and the onions will plant themselves.

Dig up the whole plant of bunching onions.  Divide into clumps of 6 to 8 onions.  Cut back the tops and replant.  Potato onions can also be planted this time of year.  Shallots are usually planted in the greenhouse to prevent winter kill, or if I plant them outside, I wait until early spring.  You can purchase garlic at the grocery store and plant.  Shallots and Jerusalem artichokes purchased at your local store usually do well also.   The onions from the store are mature and if planted will grow fresh green tops, but they are only editable for a short time in the spring before the onion produces a seed head and the stems turn pithy.  They make a beautiful statement in the garden however.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Root Crops at market

Yummy beets will be at market again this week


(aren't they beautiful)

Turnips and Potatoes


probably my last week for purple and yellow beans

I will have a big variety of summer veges 
and bushels and bushels of CARROTS!

Please come early, I will be leaving market at 5:00 for an
at the Gallery in the Western Park Museum
 Vernal, Utah
celebrating the 25th annual Jurried show

I've entered several of my paintings
hope you all come out to see the exhibit!

I just couldn't resist, I entered this little 8x10 self portrait entitled
 in the open oil category
hopefully the judge has a sense of humor!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Boston Pickling Cucumber

This cucumber is not just for pickling!
Many of my market customers tentatively take my advice and try it as a slicing cucumber.  They always report to me how tasty and crisp the little cukes are.  This fast maturing, productive little cuke should be in every one's garden.  
Actually it is my favorite eating cuke.  Pick when they are about 4 inches long.  Wash the tiny spines off,  do not peel it, just slice and enjoy.  They are rarely bitter if picked when young and before any yellow begins to appear on the ends.

The Boston Pickling Cucumber is an heirloom dating back to the early settlements in Massachusetts (hence the name).  It is believed to have been brought to the American Continent by Christopher Columbus and cultivated in the new colonies under the name of cluster cucumbers.
Pickling varieties of cucumbers were grown over 4000 years ago in India.
This prolific, Heirloom, crunchy cucumber makes a great pickle,
 but pick it fresh from the vine and give it a try on your dinner plate too.

Plant seeds directly into well composted, fertile soil 1 week after your last frost date.  The soil needs to be warm in order for the seeds to germinate.  In full sun, plant in hills 3 feet apart or simply seed about every 8 inches.  I prefer hills.  This plants needs a lot of water so I plant it in a row formation with the rows at least 4 feet apart.  Cover with plastic row covers to keep the soil and seeds warm.  Remove the covers when the plants are 6 to 8 inches high.  To save room plant on a trellis, however wind and heat take their toll on the tender vines.  They need more frequent watering this way.  A good root soaking is better than spraying.  I find that letting the vines run on the ground gives better results.  When the vines have reached about 4 foot in length I chop them off with a shovel.  This encourages the vine to branch, producing more fruit.  Remember to harvest daily, or at least every 3rd day.