Friday, July 3, 2015

Buckwheat and Pumpkin Fail But It Ain't Over Yet

I am ready to concede my little Buckwheat patch was pretty much a complete failure this year. It came up good and was doing a damned fine job of blocking the early weeds until the rain began stunting it. After that the weeds came back with a vengeance and killed most of it off.

Only two small spots that are usually the driest parts of the garden remain relatively Buckwheat covered now.  In those two spots the Buckwheat managed to keep the weeds mostly under control. As I thought the Sunflowers and Johnson Grass managed to push through but the Buckwheat out competed most everything else and provided not only my honey bees but a wide range of pollinators plenty of forage.

The rest of the garden plot in the lower lying areas? Well it would make some fine Fescue and Johnson Grass hay right about now. 

The Pumpkin plot is about totally over grown as well with weeds and the few Pumpkin plants that have managed to kinda hold their own will soon be overwhelmed I imagine.

All is not a total loss though. As I said the bees got some good forage off the Buckwheat and the few spots that remain are already yielding up some new seed for next year. Actually IF it ever stops raining I am planning on sowing another plot of Buckwheat down in the back of the pasture as well since I have plenty of seed left over.

I still have some surviving Tomatoes and one trellis of the on going Small-Hold Bean experiment and breeding program survived the frequent rabbit-cong attacks as well. At least I know I have new seed stock for next year. I am seriously thinking about tilling up a new Pumpkin patch area as well if it dries out enough.

This has really worked out to be a good lesson in grid down sustainable living if you think about it. Times like these happen and it is best to be prepared to re-sow and diversify your food production to meet them head on. While most things failed even the failures have alternate uses and a few others like the Peaches and the Bees are actually booming. Although it was hard to find a dry time to make the first Alfalfa cutting that field has bounced back handsomely now and so has the West grazing pasture after I moved the sheep into the hay field.

The failed Buckwheat patch will now be turned into Sheep fodder after the Sunflowers stop blooming and the failed Pumpkin patch might be as well. Since the sheep generally stay close to home I can still count on some yield from the hay field and of course in the scheme of things long range show we will have plenty of meat for the next year.

Even at it stands today it wasn't a complete shut out and by my calculations the Small-Hold would survive until next season. We would probably be craving fresh vegetables by then though.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!



    sprouts are my back-up plan in the event of a bad harvest. i save seed from everything that grows wild here and all of the domesticated plants that we grow. for example - our wild chive seeds - we have trillions of them and could easily live off of their sprouts over a winter. and that is one of the reasons that we don't keep animals - if we had a very bad harvest, we wouldn't be able to feed the animals. but we would still be able to eat sprouted turnip seeds and make it to the next harvest.

    but you seem to be able to keep growing stuff for your animals to eat and that is very important, whether you are growing what you planted or just growing what comes up.

    sending much love to you and yours! your friend,

    1. Wow, I never considered that! Do a post on it!!!

  2. Watching it rain here but no problems like what you have. I did plant things in raised rows this year as I expect a wet summer, this is our 3rd, so the tomatoes and sweet potatoes are up high and doing good. I have never grown buckwheat but have seen large fields of it but don't know much about it. I planted pumpkins about a month ago as I like them to ripen late, don't really have much use for them as we like butternut squash better. I put a new blog post on but who knows when blogger will make it visible, seems to take half a day lately.

    1. My tomatoes have turned yellow about halfway up, not a good year, but we have had 36 hours dry, yay :(

  3. You make an excellent point about diversity Preppy. A total failure of everything can happen as an event but is much less likely than certain areas of failure while others succeed. The trick is to ensure sufficient diversity so that you have a better than average chance of get enough.

    Also a horrible yet wonderful field test of "What Happens When..."

  4. Sometimes I have some really good stands of buckwheat, sometimes I only get a few plants. I can't figure out why! Pumpkins are always a fail. But you're right about learning from these experiments. They are important for that reason even if there is little to no production. It's a learning process with something gained no matter what.

  5. PP,

    With all this rain I've had to replant 3 times. This years planting has been a learning experience. I know we will continue to have beans, cukes, lettuce, tomatoes, squash, and potatoes. As for everything else, we will more than likely have to fall back on what was canned last season. And that's okay, lesson learned.


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