Month: August 2020

Sage Advise Russian Sage

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WhiteHouse Farm is proud to announce that we have Sage Advise Russian Sage. A perfect perennial for hot, dry climates and also exceptionally cold hardy. Perovskia can be used in a wide variety of environments with little attention through the season – a reason they have long been a staple of landscapers. Expect these plants to be a little later to emerge in spring, but also to offer color well into fall.

You would be wise to choose this Perovskia because it’s the darkest purple shade to date. Rich lavender purple flowers are produced on strong, upright plants filled with oval-shaped, notched leaves. This is early to bloom just like its counterpart ‘Denim ‘n Lace’, starting around late July in Michigan. Compared to ‘Denim ‘n Lace’, this is a slightly taller variety with darker purple calyxes and broader leaves, compared to the dissected leaves of the former.

We will have our Sage Advise Russian Sage available for Fall 2020.

Greenhouse Construction Begins!

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We are so excited that construction on our first greenhouse has begun! I must say that this is the most precise thing I have ever done! I think I measured each of the four sides at least six times and the diagonal measurements four times before the first ground post went into the ground. The first side of the greenhouse ground posts are all in the ground, although they need to be driven to the same consistent height.

The plan is to get the opposing side set tomorrow, finish back filling the water lines next weekend, then come back and finish the greenhouse build on Labor day weekend. We would like to be under film by mid September at the latest. I have been seeing the geese getting restless flying here and there. Stirring geese is a reminder that Fall is quickly coming, and frost not too far away. So we want to get our greenhouse covered and ready for the cold weather as soon as possible. Once the house is up there is still a lot to be done to make it functional for 2021 production.

Categories: Farm Update Greenhouse

We Have Water And A New Friend!

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I am very please to announce that we now have water on the farm. I was able to the connect the last hydrant up, and turn the water on at the meter. When I opened the cover on the water meter, I discovered a new friend!

Thankfully we had no leaks! I have not used Ford connector before, these things are really incredible. So now we can finish back filling, and getting the farm back to normal.

We want to hear from you

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I just read an article in a trade magazine that listed the top crops produced. Some of the crop I can accept, because I see an abundance of them at the farmers markets, and roadside stands. Some I’m not as sure about because I see them here and there, but its not so common such as squash and herbs. Yes I see them at some markets, but to be listed in the top five crops I’m not so sure about. I don’t know about you but I see way more corn than herbs and squash combined! So Gina and I want to hear from you as we prepare to purchase our seeds for next years crops. Which vegetables and herbs do you look for when you go to the farmers markets, farm stands, or maybe you have always purchased from the grocery store. Which fresh vegetables and herbs do you commonly purchase ? So please give us your feedback.

Categories: Farmers Market Feedback

Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker) Gold Rush

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We potted up a tray of Gold Rush Kniphofia a while back and did’t expect any blooms this year, but about two days ago we noticed stems pushing up through the foliage, followed by blooms. What a blessing to get a beautiful show! These plants are potted up in one gallon pots and are available now as a nice addition to your full sun location in your landscape. I don’t expect these to last very long so contact us to get yours now.

Almost Back To Normal

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What a difference a couple of days can make. I was able to get back down to the farm this afternoon and get a few things done.

I was able to get the yard hydrant near the cabin installed, I then began on the hydrant at the greenhouse pad and it started to pour. I walk back to the cabin to sit on the porch and wait it out. As soon as I sat down the rain stopped, …figures!

This section of the water line run has a “T” for the hydrant, then a shutoff valve, then a plug for the continuation of the line at a later date. I started to get the hydrant installed and realize that I needed two more pipe stiffeners, so the last hydrant isn’t installed yet.

I was able to get more of the trench back filled, and regrade the road that leads from the main driveway down to the greenhouse pad roughed out. So I will get some more stiffeners to finish installing the greenhouse hydrant, then turn on the water and hope for no issues at any of the connections.

Putting The Pieces Back Together

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I must confess that Friday afternoon was a bit difficult to me. I knew that the excavation company was going to dig my trenches for the new water lines. I knew that they were going to dump sand on the property. I must confess that when I arrived on site and saw my beloved farm which has been taking shape over the past several months. My farm that the real estate listing referred to it as “undeveloped agriculture” land. My farm which I have many hours of planning and work invested in, now looked like a bomb had dropped on it. It looked like I had become a natural disaster victim. My spirit was broken on Friday afternoon.

I spent a few minutes and journaled how I was feeling. I wrote down the feelings and emotions in my journal that Gina bought for me. I then opened up my other journal and read my life verses. I read Psalms 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God”. I read Phillipians 4:13 ” I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me”. I began to feel better about my situation, so I read other verses that give me hope and strength. I then went down to the greenhouse pad and began to lay out where the greenhouse will soon stand and act as the heart of my farm next Spring.

Saturday was a new day! I picked up a dingo from Art’s rental and headed out to the farm to get the water lines in the ground. I was able to get a lot of sand moved into the trench before anyone else arrived. Gina was the first to arrive with water, soft drinks and lunch. Then our daughter and her family arrived to help wrangle sand, poly pipe, and soil.

Everyone pitched in and the work seems to have gone quickly. Lynae and Daniel worked the sand in the trenches to make sure we had at least 6″ of sand throughout the bottom of the trench. I worked to get the sand in the trench and move soil to gain access to all point in the trench.

At the end of the day we lined the bottom of the trench with at least 6″ of sand, laid our 3/4″ poly pipe, attached our unions, and our T’s. We back filled our sand with at least 6 inches of sand, then back filled our soil except where our connections were at. I still have about 2.4 hours left on the dingo and hope to get back down to the farm to finish the last few connections, get the hydrants installed and at least back fill the last of the sand before returning the dingo on Monday.

Possibly In Our Future!

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I had a meeting with the leader from a local organization to discuss something that would be huge for our farm! Sorry about being so mysterious but I really can’t give any details right now. They had a board meeting today and this was to be discussed. Gina and I have been praying for God’s will in this opportunity. I should hear back from them next week, and hopefully I can share at least some of the details. Gina and I Can’t wait to see how this plays out.

22 Tons of Sand and a 150 Ft of Trench!

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Well as I arrived at the farm today I began to feel rather overwhelmed. Our excavator dug the trenches for the water lines and dumped 22 tons of sand on the property this week.

The landscape business is very busy with a stacked schedule. This is good news but is making it hard to get the water installed and getting the greenhouse frame erected.

So based on these pictures you can understand the feelings I expressed of being overwhelmed. I spend a few minutes writing in my journal and laid out a plan to get things done, and started feeling better of things.

I have a Dingo reserved for tomorrow with a smooth bucket, and I will be a sand moving fool most of the day. We have 3- 100 foot rolls of poly pipe, Ford fittings , and 2 frost proof yard hydrants. I couldn’t believe how expensive these supplies are, but I don’t have time to dig this line up because of cheap parts. My daughter and her family will be at the farm to help get some things done. Hopefully we can get the sand in the trench, get the lines layed, and another 6 inches of sand on top of that, then back fill the trenches. It’s a lot of work, but I really want to get the farm back to normal. The place feels in such disarray right now with the driveway torn up, access to the other side of the farm blocked with soil, and a giant pile of sand in the front lawn. I can’t wait to get the water turned on and get to building our greenhouse.

Categories: Farm Update Water

We Have Water!

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Gina and I are so excited to finally get water on the on the property! What’s a farm without water? The answer is sometimes in trouble! My family on my mothers side stills farms in Brown county Ohio. Some years for them is sparse because they rely on mother nature for rain for their crops. To be able to grow the best quality plants, fruits and vegetables we must have a water source on site.

So we thank Williamstown City water for coming out to tap the main and run it to our meter. Next step is to get the water from the meter to where it’s needed on the farm.

Categories: Farm Update