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Preparations . . .

We enjoyed a weekend of preparing the farm for the upcoming season of Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch. We all do our own parts during the year, but my favorite time is when all the family comes down to work together. The beautiful weather was just what we needed to keep us going as we worked outside. I love that coolness in the air. It makes everything feel so….autumnish! Justin was working on preparing the trail for the barrel train, Dan was busy in the shop creating contraptions for the destruction zone, Papa was wiring the converted education room, Grammy fed us all, Angie and I were working on scheduling and store preparation, and the grandkids… had the most important job this weekend. They were cuddling the two new kittens and putting together scarecrows.

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Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch at Johnstown Farm, McPherson, KS 2014

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Planted, partially

It is about two weeks later than normal, but we finally could get in to some of our fields to plant our patches. After three years of significant drought, I cannot complain about the rain that put us behind in planting. The miniatures, giants, and some gourds are in the ground, weed blocked, and watered.

It was a fairly quick job with some great help and most appreciated cloud cover. We definitely could have done without the swarms of mosquitoes. Unfortunately, I am afraid they are around for awhile.

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Here's what Ben thinks of the mosquitoes.

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Charis is putting 3 seeds every 2 ft.

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Transplanting is tricky with cucurbits.

Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch 2014 @ Johnstown Farm-McPherson, KS

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2014 in Grammy's Pumpkin Patch

 

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Wait…where did Spring go?

So Spring came…and went…and is slated to reappear tomorrow. Central Kansas went from 90 degree weather to 28 degree weather in 24 hours. Braving the SNOW, we gathered sheets, blankets, and tarps to cover young plants. Unfortunately, we missed a few…

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Extra heat lamps were set up for the chicks. They made it through the freeze and are growing rapidly…

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And as for the kittens, well, at least one litter arrived the night before the temperatures plummeted. So of course, they needed some old rugs and rags to keep warm too. Aren’t they a cute patchwork of fur?

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I am putting my request in- true Spring from now on. We’ll see.

Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch at Johnstown Farm-McPherson, KS 2014
 

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Farm Fresh Eggs

 

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Spring has Sprung at Johnstown

I love Spring! Everything is fresh and new with the promise of growth. What does springtime look like here at Johnstown?

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Looks like we will have kitties, and lots of them, soon. Several of our favorite farm cats will be having cuddly babies. Maybe we’ll be looking for good homes…

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The fields are carpeted with crops ready to soak in the Kansas sun and (hopefully) some April showers. This field is no-till triticale. Our cows will love it!

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Flowers peeking out to welcome Spring make me want to get my hands into the garden boxes. There is such satisfaction in hiding those seeds in the soil. I am trying to listen to the experts and wait until the freeze threat is gone.

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Our newest arrivals are 50 Cornish Cross broiler chicks. They are peeping their Spring song.

That’s just a taste of this beautiful season here in central Kansas.

Johnstown Farm & Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch-McPherson, KS 2014

 

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Eggs, Eggs, Eggs

We have decided that our hens are just plain crazy!

Normally, the hens experience a “slow” laying season each year. Unfortunately, their slow time is our busy pumpkin patch time. The slow down is mainly due to fall molting, shorter colder days, and sheer numbers of visitors at the farm. This year, their egg production did not pick up much at all after their molting. Our minds began to contemplate lots of fried chicken, chicken and rice, and chicken and noodles this winter. They must of read our minds because against all odds (production should slow during cold snaps), those ladies began laying – and laying lots!

So….if you are interested in Johnstown Farm Fresh Eggs, give us a call! I know many of you asked about the eggs during the fall when we were running out each day. This is your chance to get in on the benefits of fresh eggs!

Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch at Johnstown Farm – McPherson, KS 2014

 

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Spring and Sprouts

The last week has been filled with the signs of spring and summer, growth and life.  Here are some of those signs:

Sprouts!  Thanks to beautiful weather, the giant pumpkins are sprouting up! We appreciate the rain God!

Sprouts! Thanks to beautiful weather, the giant pumpkins are sprouting up! We appreciate the rain God!

Kittens!  We have at least one new litter of kittens to be cuddled.

Kittens! We have at least one new litter of kittens to be cuddled.

Mud!  Boys just can't deny themselves a jump in a muddy puddle.

Mud! Boys just can’t deny themselves a jump in a muddy puddle.

Turkey chicks! Papa hatched these in his incubator for a friend.

Turkey chicks! Papa hatched these in his incubator for a friend.

Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch 2013 – McPherson, KS

 
 

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Here Come the Giants!

1-2-3 seeds to a hill

1-2-3 seeds to a hill

What a great Spring day for planting!

It is always a tough call as to when to plant.  Each variety has it own expected timetable; however, this timetable assumes a normal growing season.  When does that happen???  So the planning begins.  We spend way too much time watching weather patterns, checking the local weather forecast, studying planting grids and graphs, predicting when the rain will come (and not come), pulling out temperature assumptions, and consulting the almanac-all the time looking for the “perfect planting time”.

When it comes down to it, we always end up poking those seeds in the ground whenever the weather cooperates.  The last two weeks of May and the first two weeks of June end up being reserved for planting-just in case.

So today ended up being the first day of planting-not too wet for Johnstown’s soil (fairly heavy on the clay), yet hopefully rain in the next few days.  The Johnstown Giants were planted first because they should mature in 120 days (give or take).  That is the longest maturation rate of the varieties we will plant this year.  I can picture them now!

Papa has some great helpers this year!  Thanks Charis and Ben.

Papa has some great helpers this year! Thanks Charis and Ben.

Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch 2013 – McPherson, KS

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Grammy's Pumpkin Patch

 

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