This is what the tomatoes looked like a month ago. Come see what they look like now.
Out in the greenhouse we have some of the nicest looking bedding plants. You must come out to see them to appreciate them. We are sure that when you come you will agree, and will not be satisfied leaving without some of your very own. Grown in 2.5″ pots, they are only $1.00 each. Herb plants are $2.00 each. This will be short and sweet. We just wanted to let you know what we have available, and that they are ready for their new homes in your garden. Here’s a list:
- Tomato: Better Boy, Celebrity, Florida 47, Mountain Fresh Plus, Mountain Spring, Amelia, Juliet, & Sweet 100
- Pepper: King Arthur Bell, Keystone Bell, Ancho Pablano, Pimento Perfection, Jalapeno, Cayenne, & Arbol
- Eggplant: Bride, Black Beauty, Ping Tung, Shine
Although it is getting late we still have lots of spinach and lettuce starts that we will practically give away. Just ask.
We have a good selection of culinary herbs:
- Basil Genovese
We also have a few assorted petunias, dianthus, and periwinkles.
Spring is progressing right nicely. Actually “official” Spring just passed us a few days ago. Regardless what the calendar tells you, the weather has been simply marvelous. You need to be working in your garden. Come by and get your salad plants. It is time to set them out.
We have about six different varieties of lettuce, some new for us and some our tried and true favorites. You have got to come by and see them. Colorful is the word. We have tried to pick some new red lettuces and we are really anxious to see how they do. We have even tried a butterhead variety. They are just the right size to set out NOW! Hurry. We are not a mega store. Supplies won’t last for ever. As you can see from the pics on the right these plants are ready. You can have your first salad before you even set the plants out in the garden. That’s what we do; pick the big leaves off and then set them out.
We also have Premium Crop boccoli, which is our forever favorite, and if you are a true child of the south we have collard plants too. Both are just the right size for setting out. Collards need to be planted now because when the weather gets tough and hot, collards get tough and hot (bitter) too.
Last but not least, we have three varieties of spinach plants: Olympia, Titan, and our old favorite, Bloomsdale. Our spinach plants aren’t quite as far along as we would like, but with a little care in setting them out they will do just fine.
The take-home to all of this is it’s time to set this stuff out, so come by and get yours today.
Home-grown English peas, fresh from the back-yard garden, has always been a real treat for us. When our children were growing up we rarely saw any peas actually make it into the kitchen; our children would graze up and down the pea rows, picking the green pods and eating the little green jewels like candy. Admittedly, the two adults in this family often would resort to this same practice, if the younger members should happen to forget they were there on occasion.
Growing peas in the home garden is really simple. Just a few tips are necessary to get the most out of your spring planting of peas:
- Start Early: OSU’s Oklahoma Garden Planting Guide, gives Feb. 15 to March 10 as the sowing window for spring-planted English, Snap, or Snow peas. Don’t worry that Oklahoma’s last spring frost occurs around the 10th of April. Peas are quite hardy and really need all of the cool of spring they can get. Plant as early as possible. If you are past March 10, plant them anyway, so long as it isn’t mid June. In that case wait till you plant your Fall Garden.
- Grow an upright/climbing variety. They are easier to pick, get the crop off the ground, and provide a much larger/longer harvest. We like Maxigolt for an English/shelling-type pea, and Super Sugar Snap for a snap pea. Each variety grows to around 48″, so you will need to provide some kind of fence for them upon which to grow.
- Inoculate your seed. You don’t know what the heck that means? Well, look for an explanation here. This is really quite easy, but here is a method to get the most out of your inoculant: Use fresh inoculant (notice the expiration date on the bag.). Put seed to be planted in a small paper cup. We usually use 100 seed to plant a 30 foot row. Add a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of inoculant plus just enough water to make it all wet. Stir the mix thoroughly and pour the contents onto a paper plate and leave to dry under a small fan.
Inoculated Peas Drying
While your seed mix dries, go out and set up your fence and hoe a row in the garden about two inches deep.
- Plant your seed about four inches apart and two inches deep. Cover the row up and water if rain is not expected soon.
- If you haven’t already planted potatoes, find a neighbor who has and work out a deal to share some of your peas in exchange for some of his new potatoes. Nothing tastes better together.
- Happy gardening.
Is This an Early Spring, or a Bad-News Warm Spell?
It is hard to believe that it is mid February, but it is. We have had such a mild winter that I fear (good & bad) that we are going to have an early spring. It can be a good thing for those of us who just can’t stand snow and ice. On the other hand, there may not have been sufficient hard cold to kill overwintering bugs. It can also spell disaster for fruiting trees that are tricked into blooming too early, only to be sucker punched by a dip into freezing territory some starry night in late March. We will see. Our apple and peach blossoms haven’t begun to break yet but we do have a Star magnolia that has begun to bloom. Ohhhh, way too early.
High-Fence Farm Kicked off the 2017 Greenhouse Season This Last Week
This week we have begun to sow seeds, beginning with broccoli, which means we will begin to sell broccoli plants out of the greenhouse the latter half of March. About the same time lettuce and spinach will be available. Keep your eyes and ears peeled. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter at @HighFenceFarm for the latest update.
We also sowed sweet basil, chives, and parsley this week, which will be ready in early April. Of course we will have a good supply of tomato and pepper plants and also—well, we will have to hold a few things back for a while, just to keep you in suspense. We have had a few hiccups the last few years, and with those out of the way we hope to do much more this year. We can hardly wait for this season to get under way so you can come out and see what we have been up to.
Wow! He Began That Thing Over a Year Ago!
The first stage of our barn rebuild is almost complete. We just lack a couple of doors topside and three pieces of trim on the south end and we can call it finished. But for a knee scope a week ago it would be finished, but now it will have to wait a few more weeks. We hope this completion will create an attractive place to shop for produce later this summer.
Yep, That’s me hanging by my toenails, screwing down the ridge cap
We successfully made it through a not-too-tough winter, and have wound our way back around to spring and fresh things to eat out of the garden. The reason you have seen zero online activity since about the middle of July of 2015 is that we have had our noses to the grindstone trying to recover from last spring’s tornado. Well, here’s a progress report:
Our little propagation house has just been rebuilt with some modest upgrades. We should have some tomato and pepper, as well as some bedding plant starts ready to sell in the spring of 2017. Around this neighborhood we look to April 10-15 as a springtime frost free date, so check by around the middle of April to see what we have available. If you are looking for broccoli & collard starts, check around the middle of March. We will keep you posted.
The pipe welded frame of our barn came through last years tornado without a scratch. We can’t say that much for the roof and rafters. We have spent the majority of our time this past winter and every spare moment this summer removing the shredded rafters and sheet iron to make way for a new roof. We are about a quarter of the way through getting a new roof back on. This will be a project stretching into the fall, as time permits.
We have had had produce this summer, and continue to have okra. We always have okra. All of the rest of the garden is just hit and miss. We haven’t posted anything because of the unsure nature of our supply. We have been limiting our sales this year to return customers (thank those of you for bearing with us) and local neighbors. As always it is best if you call ahead before you come out.
That’s it. Hope to see you this season. Stay tuned.
Hot Produce for Another Hot Week
If you don’t think it is hot in Oklahoma right now, there’s something wrong with you. Hot and dry is standard fare for this time of year, so we shouldn’t be surprised. We have been moving soaker hoses around the garden this last week, so produce is still making. One exception this year is our cucumbers. Spider mites got a good foothold, making an ugly mess. Trellised between our tomatoes on one side and eggplant and pepper on the other, we thought it best to cut our losses and pull down all of our cucumbers. Some spider mite damage was already showing up on the crops on either side, but it looks manageable with some repeated sprays of horticultural oil. If we get a chance – there’s a bare spot where the garlic came out – we might sow a fall crop of cucumbers.
Here’s an eye chart hot pepper lovers can read all the way to the bottom.
So here’s the “Hot Produce for Another Hot Week”:We haven’t said much about our peppers. The bell peppers put on a few fruit early on and teased a promising season, but after the initial bells were picked the plants all failed to set any more fruit and the bottom leaves began wilting and falling. The plants in general don’t look to bad, but there is definitely no fruit set. Maybe with a little fertilizer scratched in around the base of each plant and cooler temperatures in a few weeks they will set some new fruit.
As you can see from the pic to the right, hot peppers are going gang busters. The Jalapeño are having a hard time keeping up with demand, but that is just because they are so popular. Here’s a caveat if you would like some of these spicy wonders: Ask for them. We don’t generally pick them until a customer comes out and asks for them. They keep better on the plants, and eventually turn “ripe” colors. Here is a list of the hot peppers we have to offer:
- Red Chili
- Tobasco (not shown)
- Ahn Tran (not shown – A small, hot, oriental variety)
What Else Is in the Garden
This pic was taken several weeks ago. You should see the plants now! Wow!
Here is the list of what else is available (call before you head out.):
- Yellow squash
- Did I mention hot peppers?
Come see us. Oh, did I mention, it’s best to call ahead for daily availability. In the mean time, try to stay cool.
What Do You Do on a Rainy Day? Rainy Day Work.
We just finished (Tues-Wed-Thurs) a blessed three-day run of cool, cloudy weather punctuated by numerous rain showers. Even though it keeps us out of the fields, rain and cooler weather is always welcome in summer here on the farm. We never complain. Anticipating the arrival of this major weather system, we sowed some more summer squash and green beans. The current plantings of these two crops are about to play out, so it was long past time to start their replacements.
Elephant Garlic – before
Waking to showers, we took the opportunity yesterday to prepare our recently harvested garlic for storage in the cellar. The bulbs with stalks still intact have been drying in the shade for a couple of weeks. Last Monday they were gathered into a cart to sit on the front porch out of the moisture. The “drying shed” they were under was only a couple of sheets of tin temporarily held over a wire bench with some saw horses. The front porch was a much dryer location, and a better place to cut the tops and roots of the garlic. All our onions have already gone into the cellar, preceding the garlic in the drying process by a week or so. It sure has been a good season for all of our bulb crops. The rains came at the best possible times, and we were able to dig them up and get them under cover just before another rainy spell. Hopefully they will keep well this year.
The kind of garlic we grow is Elephant garlic, which is not really a garlic at all, but a member of the leek family. The bulbs are typically larger than true garlic, have a milder flavor, and have fewer cloves than true garlic. Our garlic was started from a few bulbs a relative of Italian descent gave us years ago. It is simply the best in our books.
Elephant Garlic – after
When the garlic has been sufficiently set out to dry all of the moisture has gone out of the tops and the roots. These can then be removed. The chore is a good one to be done by two workers, as one can cut the tops while the other crops the roots short and neat. We should have rinsed the bulbs in the field when they were pulled, but our sandy-loam soil doesn’t cling too tightly so that they clean up fairly nicely with just a soft rub in your palms. Still a wash in the field would have made them come out a bit cleaner.
This season marks the largest garlic crop we have ever had. Each year we have saved more of our increase to plant back the following fall. Even though we don’t have tons of garlic to sell, we are offering it for sale this summer. Be advised, supplies are limited.
What’s Available in the Garden?
First, what’s past and gone – for now:
Now, what we have:
- yellow squash, but not for long
- tomatoes, just starting
- garlic, it won’t last long
- hot peppers: Jalapeño, Serrano, Red Chili, Anaheim, and others
Give us a call, and set up a time to come and visit. We would love to see you.
The Big News: Okra Is Ready
The big news this time of year is that Okra is beginning to come on strong. The plants are still young, but barring something unforeseen, there is no looking back. We have been harvesting a few other crops as well, but okra is the big news this week.
Here’s the list of what else is in the garden:
- Green Beans
- Peppers, hot – limited supplies just yet
- Yellow Squash
- Zucchini Squash
What’s Not Ready
You are going to have to wait a little longer on the following
- Tomatoes (just a few more days)
- Corn (maybe a couple of weeks)
- Eggplant (any day now)
Call first, and come see us.
Produce Availability June 6, 2015
Wettest May on Record
May is over and the rains have finally ceased. It looks like we are not going to transition gradually from spring into summer, but rather jump headlong from a cool, damp May into a sultry, dry June. Rain is in the forecast for the middle of next week, but we will have to wait to see if that really materializes. Forecasts, after all are only educated guesses. We easily managed the record-setting rainfall in May with our sandy-loam soils here, but now with more than a week without rain we are thinking about soaker hoses and sprinklers. I sure wish we had more mulch.
What’s Ready in the Garden?
The season is still young, but we have already slipped past the Asparagus season, and Strawberries. Most of the salad crops are past too; I guess we didn’t plan very well for salad items. Here’s what is ready right now. Mind you that this list is current as of the writing of this post, and may change in just a day or two depending on weather, demand, bugs, or theft. Here’s our produce availability for June 6 2015:
- Onions, purple, yellow and white
Here again, this list is very subjective, but as it stands right now here is what items are soon to be ready to pick out of our garden:
- Cucumbers, probably beginning in a week or so.
- Squash, also a week away.
- Green Beans, maybe in two weeks.
- Tomatoes, maybe in three weeks the cherries
Come See Us
Now we really want you to come out to see the farm and buy fresh produce, but we sure would hate for you to come out unannounced and find us gone. That is why we ask you to call first. We are here most of the time, but we are not tied down (yet) to set business hours, and might be away. It’s always best to call before you come.
Well if you like it fresh, Asparagus is ready for 2015. The season doesn’t last all that long and the demand is always high, and our supply is limited, so you should get your name on the list as soon as possible. Call us or drop us an email if you would like some of the best tasting fresh asparagus in Oklahoma.
The only other crop we have even close to ready is Rhubarb, but we will keep you posted. We do have some green leaf lettuce, but not much.
In the greenhouse the tomato, broccoli and collard starts are ready to set out, but the eggplant and peppers are lagging behind two or three weeks. Delaying setting out of peppers and eggplant until the warmth of of May will benefit them greatly. Come see us for your spring vegetable garden needs.