Spooky Action Ranch Report: Week Ten 2015

Posted by on March 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

The Harvest Begins

The First Beet Harvest

Since our harvest was so small, we simply roasted and turned into a delightful salad. Roasted beets, avocado, and grapefruit. Delicious.

Buds are starting to show on the trees and spring is exploding at us here on the ranch.  Its still cold at night, and we may not yet be done with the freezing weather, but the change from the winter garden to the spring garden has begun in earnest.  Over the next several weeks we will be focusing on harvesting each bed, preserving the harvest, and planting the new season of plants.

This week we started with a bed of beets.  The harvest was actually pretty disappointing.   We took out only three pounds of  beets from a bed with about 40 linear feet of planting.  We did can an additional 4 pints of greens, but the return was still quite small.  The problem appears to have been root knot nematodes, as many of the full beet tops revealed stringing under-roots knotted and bulby from their action.

We are starting to treat the bed by planting french marigolds (nematodes can’t live in their roots)  and then we will also solarize the bed once it warms up a bit.

Zoe WIld Cat

Zoe looking super fierce stalking her prey.

Cat in the Wild
I know that my obsession with my wild cats is probably a bit annoying to non-cat lovers, but when they look like this I simply can’t resist it.  Our two cats were raised to be outdoor cats, and I find observing their behavior to be absolutely fascinating.   It always makes me wonder what humans might be like without all the domestication.  These cats run up the hill to greet me, climb trees, burrow into piles of fallen branches tracking unknown animals in the brambles.  What would we do as humans in the wild.  How are our bodies meant to move in the wild?  How would our senses alter?

There is a whole movement developing these days to look at this idea.  Natural Movement Fitness encourages and trains people to reclaim their nature.  They have a lot of fascinating ideas, and I really enjoy reading their newsletters.  Check them out.

Planting Begins


Here is the start of one of the potato towers.

We started the spring season off by planting potatoes.  We will be trying to do a pair of potato towers this year, adding mulch, compost, and soil as the potatoes grow so that the spuds rise up a vertical tower.  The desired result is that we can get more potatoes out of the harvest with less space.  We shall see in a few months.  Fingers crossed.


  1. Sweet! I’ll follow your progress on the potatoes

    • UPDATE: I have pulled the plug on the potatoes. I found it was very hard to apply soil to the growing potatoes from way up at the top of the cage. Additionally, the potatoes started to show signs of bugs and disease, but I could not reach them over the top of the cage to properly care for them. I ended up getting a few potatoes out of each cage, but it was pretty disappointing. It was clear that they would have produced more if I had been able to properly care for them. I read about a different technique for this sort of vertical growing, and I think I will try it next season. Here is a link to a great write-up about the technique: Sinfonian’s Build-As-You-Grow Potato Bins