Ognen Duzlevski bio photo

Ognen Duzlevski

Senior tinkerer.


There is a lot that happened on the farm since my last entry. For on,e we planted winter wheat last november on about two acres of land, it is doing well and growing. For a moment it got infested with pepperweed in March but pepperweed is not something that will kill wheat, it is gone by now. Last november we also planted cover crops in our top field of about four acres - Austrian and Keystone peas, annual ryegrass, radishes and clover and the field just looks amazing today, the radishes and rape are blooming and the peas are just about to start doing the same. We will let this field go on until May, when we will till it all in and plant teff and crabgrass for hay.

Our hay fields are infested with common (or also known as crown) vetch. It is a beneficial nitrogen fixer plant but it is also toxic to horses, unfortunately. It is especially bad in our main, three acre hay field and we are trying to figure out how to kill it without chemicals. My first approach is to burn it using a propane torch.

This February I put out a call on Facebook to people in our county, if anyone was interested in hosting bee traps for us. A few people responded and we installed traps in March. Well, we heard from one of those folks yesterday, we have a swarm that has occupied the box! We will let it sit for a few days in the trap, before we bring it home.

Dacia started her flower farm in March by transplanting about two hundred snapdraggons outside. She also plans on growing many other flowers, such as zinnias, sunflowers etc. This year we plan on trying to grow sunflowers for oil (and bees).

Our veggie garden is slowly getting to a start, we have radishes out, some lettuces and spinaches and already about fifty tomato plants in the ground. Weather has been very variable this early spring, today we are expeting a temperature of 81 degrees but on Friday, just two days from now, the high will be in the 50s and low should be 37!

This year I am growing ironwort (sideritis), which is also known as “mountain tea” back in Macedonia. It is a very healthy, fragrant plant that I remember drinking its tea since childhood.

Also, I am growing tobacco this year, already have 20+ plants growing and planning on many more.

Strawberries are blooming now, loaded with fruits and we noticed that many of our berries from last year survived and are loaded with fruits. All the fruit trees made it, with the exception of one apricot tree which looks a bit suspect. Over the last few days, I planted 15 Nanking cherries around the house and in the orchard and have at least 10 Ellderberries waiting to be planted, after being started from cuttings I ordered online.

As you can see, we have been busy and there is more to come!

Cover crops in our field