Have you seen our signs? Here’s a great way to save on your purchases this season. If you see us out in town, on the road or in a parking lot, snap a picture of one of our tailgate signs with your smart phone and receive a 10 percent discount on any purchase out at the farm when you show it to us. Be safe now, and have a passenger take the photo if you are in traffic. Right now we have a greenhouse full of vegetable starts for your garden, but this discount applies to whatever we offer for the total of this 2013 season. That includes produce all summer long, and apples this fall.
If you don’t happen to capture one of our signs, there are more ways to save. Follow us on Twitter @high_fence and receive updates on our current offerings and also capture that 10 percent discount . . . all season long. If you don’t do Twitter, you can subscribe to updates via email or RSS. The information for doing that is found in the sidebar. If you are signed up for updates in any of these three ways you will qualify for the 10 percent, plus an additional 10 percent if you capture a photo of our tailgate. What a deal! And don’t forget to tell a friend we have tomato, pepper and other vegetable starts.
What’s in the Greenhouse, Anyway?
This year we are offering a limited variety, concentrating on vegetable starts and a couple of herbs. Next year we hope to expand into the flower garden as well. Stay tuned.
Heres what we currently have to offer in the greenhouse:
- Tomato: Beefmaster (the big one), Better Boy (a regular size tomato), San Marzano (paste), Roma (paste), Juliet (a grape style), Sweet 100 (cherry).
- Pepper: Keystone (bell), California Wonder (bell), Pimento, Jalapeno, Anaheim, Red Chili, Cayenne, Serrano.
- Eggplant: Black Beauty.
- Lettuce: Red Sails, Grand Rapids, Romaine, Red Romaine.
- Spinach: Bloomsdale and Noble.
- Sweet Basil.
- Flat Parsley.
All of our plants are in 2 inch pots and sell for $1.00 each, except for lettuce which has a two-for-one sale going on right now.
We’ll be looking for you, and it never hurts to call ahead to make sure we are here.
I know many of you residing in Green Country might think “Why would I want to drive all the way out into the sticks to buy plants or produce from a couple of old farmers? There are plenty of places just around the corner where I can do that.” On the one hand, that is certainly true. You most surely can get the products we sell closer to home. Why would you want to drive all the way out into the boonies? Well, here are just a few reasons:
- Come to get ideas: When you walk into one of those box stores to buy something you just get that something. You don’t get any ideas. When you make the drive out to High-Fence Farm you get ideas, ideas on the way out here and ideas when you get here. Hey, it’s a farm . . . with chickens, and fields, and fruit trees. And by the way . . .
- It’s not all that far: We are only fifteen minutes west of the heart of Tulsa, and if you live west of Tulsa we are just around the corner from you. You travel farther than that to work five days a week.
- It’s an education: We’re not just plowed fields and orchards. We have shade trees and flowering shrubs. Maybe you are thinking of adding to your home landscape. Come out and discover what grows best in this part of the world. Maybe you are part of a small homeschool group looking for an educational field trip. Please consider us for those kinds of botanical excursions, but please call in advance with those group “invasions.”
- It’s for the birds: With all of the trees and shrubs around, we have a surprisingly diverse offering of birds to watch. We have set up Bluebird boxes around, and spring time is the best time to watch these blue beauties, and we have several nesting pairs. With the Arkansas River just a couple of miles to the south Bald Eagles often soar overhead. Even on a slow day you can watch the Mockingbirds chase each other through the landscape.
- It’s quiet: Need I say more. Stroll around the trees. Bring a blanket and a picnic basket. Take a nap under a shady tree.
- It’s beautiful: Bring your children and a camera and take some pictures. We have a landscape that offers blooming plants somewhere year round. Take your picture under a rose arbor in full bloom here in just a few weeks?
Just a few words to put it all in perspective. We are a work in progress, so don’t get an unrealistic picture of Eden out here. There are a few weeds present, and the paint isn’t bright and shiny on every post and barn door. Heck, some of our barns don’t even have doors yet. And above all it’s best to call ahead. We’d love to have you out.
Our greenhouse is complete, and we are bursting at the seams with spring vegetable starts. Come out and visit, but not just yet. Our plants are a bit small yet, but it is too early to set any tender plants outside anyway. In just a few weeks, ready to sell, we will have red leaf lettuce, red romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, and spinach. Parsley and sweet basil plants won’t be too far behind that, maybe a week or so. Yum, yum; pesto! Tomato, eggplant, and pepper plants in various varieties will round out our early offerings. All of it should be ready in time for Mother’s Day. By then the soil will have warmed up enough to be inviting to tender young roots, and all danger of frost will be past. We like to plant our lettuce in the garden as young plants- we call them “starts.” They provide numerous advantages over sowing seeds directly in the garden.
- It saves seeds: every seed we sow in the greenhouse makes its way into a pot, which is nurtured along until it is time to set them out in the garden.
- There is no thinning of seedlings in the garden: nobody likes thinning tiny lettuce seedlings in the springtime. The “starts” get set to their final spacing at the onset.
- You get about a month’s jump on the conventional method of starting lettuce in your garden.
- Set established plants into pots or window boxes: Container gardening is great for those short on space . . . think window or raised planter boxes. Pintrest has lots of creative ideas for container gardening. Find a gardening style that best suits your needs & enjoy. When these early vegetables are finished you can replace them with summer flowers or even new vegetables for fall.
Many times we pick a batch of lettuce before we set the plants out in the garden. Then as the plants grow in the field, you can pinch what you need to top of a sandwich, or make a fresh salad. Sadly, all too soon it is a race to hot weather when the plants “bolt” to make seed, and become unfit to eat. There’s always a fall crop to anticipate and plan. Being raised on wilted lettuce growing up, we really enjoy this crop. We grow spinach the same way as lettuce, adding this tasty and nutritious green to salad and sandwich alike. Come out and check out our plants, and plan for future trips when our other crops are ready for you.
Even though we have watered our apple orchard, this extended dry spell has taken its toll. We got a good soaking rain last night, but I fear it has been too little too late. Many of our apples began dropping in order to save the tree. The apples that remain on our trees are going to be of an inferior quality, soft and mealy when ripe. They will not keep very long, nor will they taste very good.
One of our mistakes this season has been in waiting too long before beginning to water. If we had started earlier, we might have been able to keep up. As it has turned out, we have been trying to water every plant on the farm, not just apples, in order to keep them all alive. Unfortunately we still suffered some plant loss. This fall and next spring will involve a considerable rebuild in several areas. This is to be expected from time to time.
For those of you who have come in the past, we are very sorry for the inconvenience and hope to see you next growing season.
Wayne & Suzan Hatcher
Every season we encounter different challenges. This year is no exception. With a drier than normal May, and continued problems with rodents (moles, voles, and pocket gophers), we will not be having pick-your-own blueberries this season. We hope to have blueberries available next year.
Produce also is running a bit late due to the dry conditions. Stay tuned. Apples seem to be the one crop that promises great things this year. It’s still a long way to August/September, so we’ll see how it goes and keep you updated. Thanks.
If you got the strawberries, we got the rhubarb. Nothing tastes better than a fresh strawberry-rhubarb pie. For that matter, there are plenty of recipes using rhubarb that don’t even call for strawberries.
Supplies are limited, so if you would like some give us a call. We’ll set some aside for you.
As a new year begins, new hope rises for a fruitful new season of mind, body, and soul. Here’s hoping you find in your 2012 a bountiful harvest in all these ways.
Solus Invictus (For my purposes: Genesis 8:22)
I love the winter solstice because it signifies the turning of the tide, the slow but steady march back toward warmer weather. I generally don’t notice it at first, because of the preoccupation with Christmas, but soon after the new year I notice the daylight hours are steadily increasing daily, albeit painfully slowly. Spring is just around the corner!
Our first crop every year is asparagus, so we need to be about the business of clearing the old foliage from the bed right now, because those spears will begin to emerge before you know it. We will announce later, as soon as the asparagus is ready for sale, probably sometime in March. Get your running shoes on, because supplies are limited, and we don’t wait for stragglers.
We very much regret not posting our apple forecast much earlier. Whereas all of our varieties save one would normally been available long before now (September is our main apple season here in Oklahoma), the fact of the matter is that we did not produce an apple crop this year. Due to this summer’s drought and extreme high temperatures, combined with our limited ability to irrigate, we have had no apples at all to sell to the public. We are in “regroup” mode in the orchard, and look forward to a crop next year. Stay tuned for developments, and thanks for your patience.
Wayne & Suzan
Well it came at least ten days early this year, and I can’t really tell you why. The fact still remains: We are out of blueberries for 2011. We did have a hail storm in early May, but I didn’t notice any berry or blossom drop. The rainfall pattern was different this year, but we irrigate regularly to offset that. The bottom line is this season’s blueberry crop is history.
I will say that we do have a young planting of blueberries, and each year will hopefully produce larger crops. We will be adding rows this fall, with varieties that mature later in the season. So, each year should be better than the previous season, with God’s good pleasure. As you plan for next years picking, remember to call in April/May to get your place in the que.
What’s next this season? I think it will be pickling cucumbers, but stay tuned for what and when.
June means blueberries. Call to set up your time to come out and pick. Early is better than later, as it heats up quickly this time of year. We hesitated to even post that they are ready, as a list has been forming for several weeks from our return customers, and supplies are limited. Give us a call and we will try to get you in for some blueberries. We do still have some rhubarb waiting for someone to pick it and take it home.