Finnegan Begin Again

Anyone remember that tune?  I seem to always be full of retro quotes phrases & song that it seems no one in my age group or younger can recall!

We begin the 2012 blog with Tomatoes! If you’ll recall from last year, we began using a large 10′ square dog run to house our important tomatoes.  I had hopes of bringing in bucket loads of tomatoes, but all in all, we got next to nothing really other than fresh use.  The space just wasn’t ready to plant, but we had to give it a try anyway.  Here it was early summer season last year with tomatoes about a foot tall inside.

Believe it or not there are 1' tall tomato plants in there

Then they grew up over the season and provided a few tomatoes here and there.  I could tell that the idea was working if only the ground hadn’t been first-year-never-before-dug TN red clay.  See they were supposed to grow up and then on top of the strings over to the side walls and then down again.  But, they never really got that far.

Good idea but insufficient preparation.

So we decided last year to make a major improvement in the Tomato run.  We collected leaves & straw from the chicken yards all winter long and piled them in the run.  And in late January we raked it all up into a pile and began the slow process of turning the pile over every other day.  Which we did all through the month of February and most of March.

Here is the composting in progress...

And that brings us to last week.  When my husband was gifted an almost unlimited supply of used retaining wall type cinder blocks.  That’s right, the BIG kind.    So we happily began using them to rebuild our driveway fence line and then the Tomato run!  Which brings me to yesterday & today and the 4 tons of split top soil & mushroom compost we brought in, most of which went right to the future tomato home!  And now for the finished product, ta da:

8 San Marzano Tomatoes plants are planted deeply in the main bed area, with Large Red Cherry Tomatoes in pots in the corners!

Now, if we’re able we will finish up the 2nd row of blocks (tall) after the growing season and fill them with dirt.  But for this season, I’m just going to plant in the cinder blocks as they are now.  Probably a blend of flowers & herbs, possibly some greens.  Then next year when the wall is two rows tall, everything will be super neat & tidy and look just amazing I know it.

And that concludes the tour of the tomato run upgrades for 2012.  It’s come a long way, and I can almost taste those tomatoes already!  I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog and will continue to join me each week on Wednesday night this season for garden updates!

OH and did I tell you, I have my FIRST CSA customer this year!  I couldn’t be happier and it’s really nice to actually know who your selling your produce to ahead of time.  It adds a real sense of community I think to my daily work and I am loving that!  Next year, I look forward to adding another family too provided I can keep growing each year as well!

And guess what else….  that’s right, it’s chick season and our incubator is all warm and ready for eggs…