Sunday, July 26, 2009

Farm Tour, Working Hard and Beans

Friday the Farm Bureau hosted a Farm Tour of various farms in the valley. I am the secretary of the Farm Bureau so I helped put the tour together. We wanted to bring people who shopped at the farmer's markets to the valley to see where their food is grown. Because our place is very scenic and because the house is big enough to accommodate seating space for 50 if it should rain, the lunch stop was here. Fortunately it didn't rain and we were able to eat in the yard with a fabulous view of Pioneer Peak in the background and the gardens below. We had a meal of all Alaska Grown food catered by Delicious Dave and it was fantastic! Everyone walked through our greenhouse and gardens and we pulled up celery and ate it right in the garden! I so visiting with everyone, answering questions and showing off my gardens and flower beds. The whole tour was so successful that we are definitely going to repeat it again next summer.

Having the tour here Friday meant that this week I was busy--very busy! As luck would have it, Rachel and Sara and Irene, our helpers, were all three gone to a church youth conference this week and I was on my own to do the harvesting, the markets and prepare for the tour. It's a good thing I have three married daughters and a mom and dad who live close at hand. They love me and are willing to help me out rather than let me have a heart attack from working too hard. Nevertheless, even with all their help, I put in long days all week trying to keep up with markets and still have everything neat and tidy for the tour. That meant a lot of weeding, weeding, weeding! Don't feel sorry for me though, I loved every minute of it! I truly enjoy every aspect of gardening and I love being able to be in my gardens and greenhouse fourteen hours a day. It was a perfect week!

The markets this week were very busy! My daughter Rita helped me in Anchorage Wednesday and we were swamped with customers even before we were set up. I have vowed to get set up earlier this week! Celery and carrots made their debut for the year at our stand and they were so good and in such demand that they sold out by noon. This week we'll be bringing twice as much. Green beans were also a hot item.

Speaking of green beans, we are finding them not so easy to grow. We have a small greenhouse dedicated to pole beans and this is our third year trying to grow them there. Something is wrong with our system as we get beautiful plants and few beans. The first year we wrote off to inexperience, last year we blamed the cold wet weather and this year we are out of excuses. We are ready to give up on them, convert the bean house to cherry tomatoes and leave the bean growing to others. That is hard for me to say because I really want to be able to grow everything!

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