Friday, February 25, 2011

What Snow?

From SHF 2011

There was snow on the farm, but it all melted by the afternoon. Fortunately we've got the reach in greenhouse all buttoned up because it's cold out there this morning. The spinach is up and looking good, as is some of the lettuce. We've got shallots and onions germinating as well, and yesterday we seeded the leeks and more lettuce, always more lettuce.

Unfortunately we're seeing yet more deer damage in the fields. Those buggers never stop. We're going to have to build some stronger barriers next winter. In the meantime, we're hoping it warms up, and maybe even dries out a little later next week so we can finally start planting outside, in the ground!

From SHF 2011

By the way - party/potluck at the farm on Sunday, March 20, noon to 3. Contact me if you want to come out. We'd love to see you there.

Oh, and one other piece of news I should pass on: Spring shares are sold out and there's a waiting list. We still have summer, fall and winter shares available but they're starting to fill up too. If you want one, or two, or three, let us know.

Monday, February 21, 2011

More Construction

From SHF 2011

Kji is taking a little vacation and while he's away I've been madly building accessories for our seed propagation. Friday I built a nice tall table for seeding flats, and then promptly used it to seed 10 flats of onions, shallots, lettuce, chard and parsley; nice to not have to hunch over to see what I was doing. I also built a table for flats that come out of our reach in greenhouse (which will be happening on next week!)

From SHF 2011

Today I finished the lid for the reach in greenhouse that we never finished last year. If it works it'll keep things warmer, and vent better. If it doesn't work it'll cut out too much light, make the seedlings leggy, and then fry them when it doesn't vent properly. I also had to change out all of the sprinkler heads for our automatic greenhouse water today, as they had clogged with deposits over the course of last season and were not giving even coverage anymore. Fortunately I had three spares and they only cost us about 60 cents a piece.

PS - small photos today to mask the fact that they're a bit out of focus. I didn't notice that my camera's auto focus was off when I took these, oops. I shouldn't rush like that.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Missing Harvest

From SHF 2011

I took a quick look in on the fields this morning and checked in on the greenhouse. It was cold. I'm not sure if you can see the big fat snow flakes speeding by in the photo of the field, but it was just starting to dump when I took this. It looks like we'll be better off if we wait for the next harvest day, two weeks from tomorrow, before we take any more out of the field. I'm hoping that we'll have a little more growth on some of our greens by then. After tomorrow, which we'll miss, we only have two more winter harvests scheduled.

Instead of harvesting tomorrow we'll have to finish fixing our propagation set up and seed a little more. Either I forgot to flip the on switch or our heat mats have died - I'll find out tomorrow when I come back with my electrical tester (if they're working they should be warm in the morning, too). We've got lots more to seed and plenty of construction projects to keep us busy in the forecasted bad weather. Full moon later this week. For those of you keeping track this is the time to transplant if for some reason you have starts this early.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Seeding starts

From SHF 2011

Monday I finally got the planting plan finalized for the season and all printed out, at which point I realized we were a couple of weeks behind on greenhouse seeding. Not really such a big deal, but it really is time to be getting starts going in the greenhouse so Kji and I made a little trip to the building supply today to get a few parts for upgrading our "reach in" greenhouse to a "reach in" greenhouse with a built in germination chamber - very fancy. We didn't quite finish getting it all set up, but we did manage to seed 10 flats of lettuce and spinach, and hook up the water and bottom heat so that they'll have a good chance at germinating before we get back from a farming conference next week.

Some of the most exciting news (for us) is that the spring CSA shares might actually be full. This would mark the first season where we actually filled up in advance, and that's really what we need to be doing every season to make this sustainable. I say might because I haven't actually entered all the names into the system yet, or received payment, but I'm optimistic.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Last of the winter roots

The share turned out very nicely today. We pulled an impressive amount of mache out of the weeds. This is an incredible little green, which has been out in the open, no protection from cold, or deer or other varmints and it's beautiful and tender and green. It makes a great little side salad, just wash the florettes thoroughly as they tend to hold onto soil. Dress them with a little oil, lemon and salt and eat 'em up. This green is also know as corn salad, and I am guessing that it is a winter weed in grains, like rye, and wheat. All grains used to be called corn.

Also in the share are the last of the scorzonera roots. I peeled and chunked up the last round of these and boiled them in a curry sauce - excellent. We also harvested turnips, which are mostly there for the greens, but you can eat the roots as well. The turnips were planted very tightly so the roots didn't size up as much as we would have liked.

To round out the share there are a few kale leaves and a couple of sprigs of thyme. Not bad for a start to February.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Moon Seeding

From SHF 2011

We thought we'd take advantage of the new moon and try a seeding in the hoop house. The days just before the new moon are generally good for direct seeding crops and the weather right now is also indicating good seeding, as the soil had dried a bit to be workable (it's really usually that way under plastic anyway) and we have a bit of a warm up and precipitation coming in the next few days.

We also took a look at what we have out in the fields and decided we will do a harvest tomorrow. We'll see if we can get some nice kale, collard and turnip greens, a bit of mache, and the last of the scorzonera. Check back tomorrow to see how it worked, it's going to be a bit dependent on how fast things thaw out tomorrow after the expected freeze tonight.