This Week on the Farm 3/16
Well we have gotten through my least favorite week of the year. Filling out the paperwork for our organic certification is always a pain, but this year our certification agency did make it a little bit easier. Instead of filling out a new paperwork packet every season, you only have to report the changes to your farm. Although we added more land this season and made changes to our crop rotation, that didn’t take up a lot of extra paperwork time. The most complicated part of the paperwork is when they ask you for the number of feet of row that you plan on planting for each crop and the projected yield for each crop. It would be much easier if we only had two or three crops, but since we grow over 130 varieties that we treat as separate crops, that is a lot of calculating to do.
Some of you may be wondering why we haven’t put up more news about our packing shed renovation. The reason for this is that we have done all of the work we can before the weather warms up. Right now the snow is starting to melt and we need to have the gutters replaced on the north side of the barn before we start working in the basement again. Since the old gutters have mostly fallen off of the barn, all of the snow melt seeps into the barn down the north wall. We have signed a contract with a gutter company to come out and put a new seamless gutter up, and until that happens we have plenty of other projects to work on.
We were very pleased to see that the gutter system that is in the basement of the barn does seem to work. Right now all of the snow melt into the barn has actually frozen in the gutters. Our plan is to rent a cement saw and cut channels out of the barn so that any water that collects in the gutters on harvest days will drain out of the barn. This will help keep the room clean by allowing us to hose all of the surfaces off and by preventing any standing water in the building.
The celery has started popping in the greenhouse. This week we seeded collards, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, more scallions, and iceberg lettuce. Our vacuum seeder worked really well with the collard and kohlrabi seed. For the lettuce seed we used our new vibro seeder. That worked so much better than how we have seeded lettuce in the past. The vibro seeder separated the flat seed much more easily than some of the other methods that we have tried. The Brussels sprout seed is probably the most expensive seed that we purchase, so for that crop we seed each cell individually by hand. We want to reduce the number of doubles as much as possible so the seedlings don’t have to compete for nutrients.
Speaking of nutrients, we have started fertilizing with our fish emulsion. That is one job I am happy to let Tyler take care of since it smells terrible! Our dog seems to love it though. He tries to get into the greenhouse and lick up any spills, which means worse than usual dogbreath.
I am looking forward to this upcoming week. We have a lot of new crops that we are starting and hopefully sometime soon we will see bare ground!