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This Week on the Farm 2/7
The push has begun to get the farm up and running for the 2014 CSA season. Starting next week we start seeding onions. Since the price of LP is so high this year, we are not going to put the seeded flats directly in the greenhouse like we have in previous years. We are going to create a germination chamber using our walk-in cooler and a space heater/humidifier combo. Tyler went to the hardware store yesterday and picked up the lumber to create the shelving that the seeded flats will go on. By using this method instead of just placing the flats in the greenhouse we should get faster and more uniform germination.
Once the flats have germinated we will move them into our smallest greenhouse. We need to clean out the greenhouse, check for any tears in the plastic, and sanitize all of the surfaces to make sure we don’t have any carryover from last year between now and then. Since we don’t spray any chemicals to control diseases we have to be very careful about our cultural controls. We go so far as buying new boots every year so that anything that may be on the treads from last year won’t find a new home this year.
We got our big shipment of seeds in from High Mowing Seeds. After checking the order over we noticed that they sent us the wrong size of inoculant for our peas and beans. I called them this morning and left a message. Thankfully there is plenty of time to get the right packages sent before we start planting those crops. After starting our seeding schedules that I talked about in the last post, we decided we needed to order a couple of more varieties that are suited for mid-summer production. Other than that, we are waiting on just a few back ordered crops and we will be all set to go for the year.
Tyler went to a class hosted by the Dane County Extension and FairShare last week that gave us lots of useful information about lettuce and onion production. We have had good success with our onions in the past, but we felt we could improve on our head lettuce production. We got ideas on varieties that will work better in the heat of the summer, help on planting schedules, and some ideas on fertilization and watering schedules that will definitely help us. Tyler is looking forward to the next class that focuses on winter squash and peppers.
Some of you may have seen our facebook post of the truck full of media that Tyler had to unload this week. A lot of our supplies are starting to arrive. We ordered three pallets of media this year and we switched to a different growing mix. This mix also has compost in it and we are hoping that the extra boost of nutrients in the mix will help some of our early season crops like broccoli and cauliflower get off to a better start.
On Monday of next week our large order of trays and irrigation supplies should arrive. Tyler took care of cleaning out the potting shed and the other storage areas, so we are ready to put everything away and get cracking.
If you know of anyone who is interested in working on a farm this year, we are hiring our first full time employee. If you or someone you know are interested in the job details, please email me through the contact us link at the top of this page.