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This Week on the Farm 2/19
Well, our smallest greenhouse is now full! Our first season we started our onions in the family room on a card table. Four years later we have filled a 12 x 12 greenhouse with shallots, four types of onions, and scallions. Later this week we are going to fire up our bigger greenhouse and start another onion variety and some more scallions. In the next two weeks we will start leeks and by the first of March the seeding frenzy will begin.
To make the seeding process much faster and less of a pain on my right thumb, Tyler is going to build a homemade vacuum seeder. He had to order special drill bits to make the holes where the seeds will be held. The largest bit is less than 1/16th of an inch (the smallest standard size offered at hardware stores) and the smallest bit is smaller than an acupuncture needle. We will have more photos and info on our new seeder next week. We will hopefully get a chance to build it this weekend. Needless to say, I am really excited!
Speaking of seeders, we have fabricated a three row seeder for things that get planted directly in the field. We are pretty pumped about how simple this was to construct. We used three Earthway seeders and connected them using three sections of threaded rod. With our sandy soils it should be sturdy enough where one person can push it, but if not we are going to reinforce it by cutting pieces of electrical conduit and making them into braces. This will hopefully allow us to plant in a third of the time. By tying the seeders together it will also mean the the rows won’t “wander” and there will be a standard distance between rows. This will help when we are cultivating with the tractor. If you are interested in how we built it, instructions are going to be on the FairShare website.
As you may have noticed it is really cold outside! The outdoor pump froze up on us and we had to water the onions with a backpack sprayer. Since this takes a lot longer to do than just using a hose and mister, we went to the hardware store and bought a heat tape to put on the pipe. After wrapping the heat tape in place with electrical tape we then covered the pipe with insulation. So far it has worked like a charm. We will see tomorrow if it was able to handle temps at or below 0°F.
We would like to give a shout out to all of the very nice people at Aprilaire that came out and heard us talk about our CSA today!