Win-Win Farm began the fall season with a bountiful sweet potato harvest. Our sweet potato slips were purchased from George’s Plant Farm in Tennessee and were planted in June. They grow vigorously through the Arizona summer and were ready to harvest at the end of September. In order to enjoy sweet potatoes all year long, the best way to preserve them is to peel and cube them, partially cook the pieces, and then freeze them in Ziploc bags.
In case you were wondering, now is the time to be planting your fall vegetables! At the moment, our garden is filled with spinach, lettuce, carrot, beet, radish, and pea plants. The broccoli seedlings were started indoors 8 weeks ago and have been transplanted outside. We also have cabbage, kale, and collard seedlings that will be transplanted soon as well. Aside from root vegetables, most fall seeds can be started indoors using simple trays and fluorescent lighting. It gives you a boost on the growing season and provides an ideal environment for fragile seedlings to grow in. You can also purchase vegetable plants from your local nursery.
Last but not least, a dozen new baby chicks have arrived at the homestead! We purchased day old Australorp and Delaware pullets from our Texan friends at Ideal Poultry. In general, anytime new chickens are added to a flock, they should be quarantined for at least 30 days to prevent disease transmission. In particular, baby chicks should to be separated until they are physically big enough to protect themselves, which is about 3 to 4 months old. New chickens have to be integrated into an established flock very carefully or the existing chickens may bully the newcomers or in some cases outright reject and attack them. It is wise to use a barrier where the new and old chickens can mingle and see each other, but cannot fight (chain link fencing works great). Our new chicks will stay in their plywood brooder until they are old enough to be integrated.
Thanks for reading and happy growing!