Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring Growing on the Farm

Well, Spring has sprung it seems, as the grass has greened, the perennials have started to pop out of the ground, and the planting has begun in earnest.

One nice sight has been the emergence of the sugar snap peas. Planted way back on March 15th, we have been patiently awaiting their appearance, not knowing if the snow, rain and freezing temperatures of March had done them in. But they are up and looking great, thanks in part to the quality of the soil and good drainage we have been able to put in place.
A good stand of sugar snap peas 04/08/13
In addition many hundered row feet of carrots, beets, spinach, arugula and hakurei turnips are in the ground and germinating. Our transplanting has included about 10,000 onion plants, almost 3,000 row feet of potatoes, 700 broccoli plants, 600 cabbage plants,700 lettuce plants (planting no. 1), herbs, and a bed each of kale and chard. Yesterday we found some beds that had dried out and planted even more, putting in the Asian greens, kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage and radishes.

Transplanting potatoes on 4/2
Broccoli and cabbage, irrigated and row covered

Late afternoon planting before the rains
And we are just getting going as the greenhouse and cold frame are full of another 700 broccoli plants, Asian greens, kohlrabi, more lettuce, herbs, and the beginnings of the Summer crops (tomatoes, eggplant and peppers).

Cold frame plants
Peppers in the greenhouse
All in all things look good, though it is not true of everything. The garlic planting has come up rather weakly. As you may remember, the garlic matured a full month early last year and was a poor crop with lots of problems because of this. The seed we saved from that crop has not proven to be very strong. We will be doing all we can to get the most out of what is in the field and still have a good crop of seed for next year's planting.

Garlic coming up thin
The high tunnel looks good with the beginning of the extended season just around the corner. This is our first Spring growing in the controlled environment of a steel and plastic bubble and we are still learning the craft. Some crops look great, others show a bit of yellowing that we are working to correct. At this point we anticipate the extended season beginning on April 24.

Harvesting some greens for the farm crew
Rounding out the crop update we have uncovered the strawberry plants and amended them and look forward to fruit for all at the end of May/beginning of June. Our third year asparagus planting will get a short picking this Spring, with the plan that by next year it will be in the first week or two of the regular CSA season.

The farm crew of Luke, Lorne, Ryan and us are working hard to make this a productive year and are looking forward to the start of the harvest.

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