Heirloom Gardening Update and Random Thoughts

Friends Drift Inn Farm – Gardening

Heirloom Gardening June Update

Click for 30 Second Intro to the FDI Show

Playing Catch-Up at Friends Drift Inn Garden

Honey, let me tell you, I do not use weed killers other than a hoe and a tiller. I have never worried if my garden has a few weeds. But this year, it is different. There is actual TV footage to consider. No one wants to look at a weedy garden. Giggles

Back in March, Friends Drift Inn launched a new venture on Pike TV, a local television show focused on the farm-to-table lifestyle. We are still tweaking and refining the show. My favorite so far is the second show with chef Matt Corbin. This week, we will shoot the fifth monthly installment a kitchen episode, but the sixth episode is tentatively to be shot in the garden.

So if you are wondering why there has been a reduction in my tri-weekly posting schedule, please understand I have a hoe in my hands. I cannot type and hoe at the same time. LOL I am dorky like that.

Heirloom Gardening Update

Cherry Belle Radishes Grow Your Own or Shop Farmers Market First!

The Heirloom Radishes did not bulb. No explanation. I planted umpteen varieties. Next year we hope to have a permanent raised bed outfitted with lots of sand for root crops.

Growing heirloom tomatoes can be challenging. We have lost probably 25 plants. The deer are biting the tops off. Well I guess it is the deer. In the process of replanting. Our varieties this year include Romas, West Virginia Centennial, Mister Stripey a local favorite, Pike County Tomato (yes that is where we live), Rose Beauty (family heirloom), White Wonders, Brandywines, Yellow Pears, and a few others; about 200 in total. We are using the “Florida Weave” system this year instead of tomato cages. I will explain that in another post.

We have a variety of Heirloom Peppers and I have frankly lost count. The last couple of years peppers have performed below expectations, and I am not sure why. We have Jalapeno, Hungarian Hot Wax, Yellow Banana, Cayenne, Cherry Peppers, Pimento Peppers and two other varieties we are trialing. I am guessing we have about 5 dozen plants. I have the standard sweet bells, but the Tabasco Hot Peppers are what has me really excited. Here’s why Hot Sauce Recipe.

Heirloom Beans Jake planting the pole beans

Beans; I confess we went crazy. Well looking at my 2011 heirloom beans post maybe not. Giggles. We planted Greasy Grits, Rattlesnakes, Limas, White Hastings, and Scarlet Runners on tepees. They are just pushing through the ground. The Kentucky Wonders are coming up amongst the corn plants. I would show you more; but there is that weed thing you know. Giggles

Can you ever have too much Summer Squash? I am all about Patty Pan squash, white scallops. We also have yellow straight neck and my favorite zucchini Cocozella di Napoli. They have just started to bloom this week. Cannot wait to get squash on the grill!

Two Friends Drift Inn Favorites Cushaw and Musquee de Provence

Winter Squash. Because “my chefs” are eager to have cushaws and pumpkins early, I started seeds under the lights. I planted the transplants, with extra seed in alongside to extend the season. I have Green Striped Cushaws and Musquee d’ Provence pumpkins vining through.

Okra. Cowhorn Okra, the only way to go. Some of my friends sow the seed in the greenhouse, and set out plants. I cannot imagine. We direct seeded about 200 feet of the southern favorite.

Corn. Our heirloom corn is Truckers Delight, a dent field corn. It will be more for projecting. Perhaps we will grind our own cornmeal or if the chicken flock materializes it might be chicken feed. Who knows?

Melons. Charleston Grey Watermelons. Hales Best Cantaloupes and Frog Melons for sure.

Cucumbers. Lemon cucumbers. Everbearing Cucumbers and a few other picklers for trial.

Rhubarb Plant first year

If that were not enough to keep me busy, we have extended the permanent plantings to include 5 different cane berries and rhubarb. Alongside the garden shed we have planted blackeyed susans, yarrow, and some lilies to attract bees. As for the herbs, they are in containers at the big red barn.

Just so you know, I have been busy living the life – even if I haven’t been blogging like I should. Giggles We are filming this week, and I have a newspaper column due. I am writing a book propsal and doing some artsy sketches. We’re picking blackberries this weekend.

I’ll update as often as I can!

Thanks for listening.

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About Joyce Pinson

Joyce Friend Pinson is a regional farm-to-table columnist for the Appalachian-News Express. She is a local television host. Her column show and blog, Friends Drift Inn, explores food, gardening, and real life farm-to-table stories from the perspective of a baby boomer in Appalachia. Joyce has a background in agriculture, media, and small business. Joyce is an heirloom gardening addict and home canner. She has a penchant for big hats, pointy toed shoes, and bourbon. Along with her husband Charlie, Joyce really does live in a barn where they ballroom dance. And laugh. And cook. And giggle.