New beginnings (part 1)

I promised I was going to try to blog as much as possible.  It looks like I am holding up my end of the bargain!  I just have so much stuff going on right now and I want to share how busy we have been.  We actually got five acres of sweet potatoes planted.  It was not nearly as easy as it sounds.  I am used to someone grabbing the planters and planting about 15 to 20 acres a day.  It took us four days to get all those little plants in the ground and it definitely was an adventure.  This whole adventure started after my hubby met one of the biggest sweet potato farmers in the state of North Carolina, Jim Jones.  We decided to head up to visit in February and that was all it took to convince me that it was worth a try.  We’ve done some research and bought some different machinery.  In order to plant sweet potatoes you have to start with a hill so we started by plowing.  The field had to be plowed a few times to get the ground just perfect.  Then we used a hiller that made two rows of hills.  The field looked something like this

 

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We had to call Jim Jones and then wait on him to have all the sweet potato slips ready.  The slip was a cutting from a sweet potato plant packed into a box.  My hubby calls me on Thursday, when I was desperately trying to finish up paperwork at school, and tells me we were headed to Raleigh to pick up the slips.  So around 3:00 we headed out with a U-haul trailer.  He had ended up renting a trailer to make sure the slips did not get damaged on the way back.  When we got there I was amazed at all the action going on.  We were quickly loaded and instructed on how to make our slips last the longest.  We were told we had about 5 days if we kept them in a cooler at 65 degrees.  So imagine the panic that set in with me when we didn’t really have a good place to put them.  We have a building, but it is full of junk.  I knew we could spend an hour and have it cleaned out, but we wouldn’t be home until 1 am!  So where do you put boxes of sweet potato slips at 1 am?  I could see the panic look on my hubby’s face.  So I fixed the problem as any dutiful wife would do.  My idea was to put them in the living room.  It’s not much different from having a houseplant, this was like having 76,000 house plants.  The plans were to start planting the very next day so that wouldn’t be that big of a deal.  Tomorrow sometime we would take them out and put them under a shade tree.  Of course our plans quickly changed when it started raining that very same night and rained on into Friday.  I was glad the ground would be wet but not happy my living room looked like a Steven King novel.  We probably could have started doing something Friday night, but I wanted to attend the Dairy Appreciation Dinner with my family.  It is not often that you get to see so many people who love dairy as much as my family does.  Here are a couple of pictures from the dinner.

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Thanks for reading and on my next blog post I can explain the next few steps we took with our sweet potato crop.

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Garlic

Wow I had good intentions about my blog but it definitely hasn’t worked out like I planned.  Life happened and I just haven’t had the time.  With working full time and having 3 little boys I just can’t seem to get anything finished.  This was my first year teaching third grade and while I loved it, it took lots of work.  I know in my last post I said that my hubby farmed a few acres of his own.  We decided that since our acreage was limited we should try some produce.  That and the fact that he works for a guy that grows and sells produce.  Both of us grew up with a garden and have been planting one since we got married.  It is one of our favorite things to do together.  He has been talking to lots of people and feels pretty good about trying something new.  Everything has actually worked out very well for us so far.  We decided that the first thing we would try would be garlic.  It wasn’t something that is people typically grow in our area, so we thought we would give it a try.   The hubby planted it in the fall and he just harvested it about 3 weeks ago.

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It has been hanging up and drying since then.  I’m pretty sure its ready, but we have sweet potatoes on our mind.  Once the sweet potatoes are all planted, I will be bundling and preparing garlic.  I can’t wait to see it on its way to farmer’s markets in our area.

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