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Posts Tagged ‘Karnofski garden’

August 10, 2013

After touring “Lavender And”, Allan and I were might hungry so we stopped at the delicious Bailey’s Café in Nahcotta.

Chef Jayne Bailey at work

Chef Jayne Bailey at work

We used to take more time to stop for lunches but for the past few years have worked pretty much non stop from February through early December.  My mission this year is to have more time enjoying pleasures like a lunch stop.  We still have not taken many, so I don’t yet have to worry that it is going to result in poverty.  Taking time off to go garden touring…and blog…is more likely to get me in financial trouble!

inside Bailey's

inside Bailey’s

After our excellent lunch we drove back to Ilwaco and a bit to the east to Jim and Vera Karnofski’s Biocharm Farm.   We wanted to get photos for the edible tour Facebook page and had also been charged with the delivery of the signs and tickets for the tour.  The name of the farm refers to Biochar.  To say Jim is a big believer in the stuff would be an understatement.  Here is the Biocharm description of the farm:  “Biocharm Farms is a demonstration mineral augmented organic garden with the goal of maximizing the nutrient density of the vegetables as shown by the Brix Refractometer. The soil is mineral balanced annually and biochar has been added for several years with promising results. There will be handouts and an explanation of these amazing gardening breakthroughs that seem to be converging to make a ‘good food revolution’ possible. Presently, besides feeding our family, we market our produce primarily to [a local] restaurant, Klean rehab facility and Coastal Corner Market. There are 3 gardens about 100 yards apart against a backdrop of forest on which there is a ½ mile trail if you feel like having a really nice nature walk.  “

Jim Karnofski

Jim Karnofski

a charming dog indeed, a rescue from our local shelter

a charming dog indeed, a rescue from our local shelter

I thought for sure I’d remember the name of the cute Karnofski dog, but writing this two weeks later, I’ve forgotten.

You can watch a video of Jim explaining all about biochar.  I believe that I’ve had good results using what I call “pseudobiochar”, the chinky black bits left behind in the burn piles of clients who live in areas where burning is allowed, mixed with dairy manure into garden beds.  I did a test, as Jim advised, of growing carrots (or any crop) in a barrel amended with biochar and one without, the the carrots in the biochar planter got much bigger.

At the entrance to the Biocharm vegetable garden, bins hold piles of soil amending ingredients.

pallet bins

pallet bins

We first walked through the vegetable garden that be seen from the highway between Ilwaco and Chinook; the farm is on the left as you drive east out of Ilwaco, east of the Painted Lady Lavender Farm.

looking east

looking east

bio2

yellow sticky trap to catch insect pests

yellow sticky trap to catch insect pests

bio4

bio6

bio8

bio9

Vera Karnofski

Vera Karnofski

lettuce

lettuce

bredlettuce

a stand of grain

a stand of grain

To the right you can see Highway 101 running next to the farm.

To the right you can see Highway 101 running next to the farm.

looking west

looking west

As we walked along, Jim and Vera harvested vegetables for their dinner.

harvesting

harvesting

carrots

carrot, Allan's photo

gathering dinner

gathering dinner

looking west

looking west

looking south

looking south

After we had thoroughly explored the garden beside the highway, Jim and Vera guided us along a grassy path to a surprise: another garden area almost equally large in a clearing to the north.

grassy path

grassy path

playtime

playtime

another garden!

another garden!

Vera and the beanstalks

Vera and the beanstalks

beans

garden

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

enormous bean pole structure

enormous bean pole structure

beans

Vera Karnofski

Vera Karnofski harvesting dinner

more grain

I should have taken notes on what grains were being grown in the garden.

two large garden beds

looking north, two large garden beds

the garden was hacked out of wilderness.

the garden was hacked out of wilderness.

northernmost bed

northernmost bed

Jim waters down a compost bin.

Jim waters down a compost bin.

In the background, the dog and cat still play.

In the background, the dog and cat still play.

playtime continues

playtime continues

back toward the farmhouse

back toward the farmhouse

more harvesting

more harvesting

Soon after this, Jim realized he had the carrot destined for dinner way back by that compost pile he was watering down.

The spuds were so good that they even tasted good raw.

The spuds were so good that they even tasted good raw.

back to the start

back to the start

At the house, there were ducklings on the loose….

ducks

ducklings on the run

They were under the protection of a large rooster.

He was monitoring the ducklings.

He was monitoring the ducklings.

Vera said they had not had time to clean up the area around the house.  I said I thought there was plenty of impressive garden to show without that area.  Jim invited us in for a beer, but we had to get home to finish the last weeding of our garden. He gave us a couple of freshly dug spuds for our dinner.

Indeed, when I started to go over all the garden beds at home, I desperately wished I had more time to make them perfect, and that we had run the strimmer around all the edges of the beds.  Oh dear.  At least the tour on the very next day did not start until noon so I might have time for some last minute weeding.

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