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This Week on the Farm 4/23
Well the weather is just starting to dry out. We think that in the next couple of days we will be able to get into the fields to start working the soil. Last week we were scheduled to plant our potatoes and spring peas, but with all of the rain and the cold soil we had to push those planting dates back. We are pretty confident we will be able to get those in by the end of this week. The week difference in planting time shouldn’t make too big of a difference.
Tyler finished cleaning out the last hoop house. This hoop house is unheated and gives the plants time to acclimate to cooler/more spring like temperatures. We are going to move some of the lettuce plantings, our Belstar Broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbages into the hoop house later today to get them ready for transplanting by this weekend. By moving all of those flats into the unheated hoop house we will be able to make room in the big greenhouse for more of our herb plantings, tomatoes, and watermelon. We also need room to finish transplanting the celeriac and celery into larger cells.
Tyler had help from two of his cousins this past week ripping out the last of the concrete in the basement of the West barn. Yesterday he and his cousin Kevin removed a lot of field stones to make room for a drain pipe. We are utilizing the gutter system that was already in place in the barn, but the gutters did not actually drain out of the barn. When they were used originally they would be full of cow manure, so it was shoveled out. With just plain water, shoveling is not an option and a drain is necessary. Several of the field stones were so large they had to wrap a log chain around the stone and drag it out with the tractor. It was heavy work.
So far the only field work we have gotten done is to prep the raspberries for spring. I trimmed out all of the old canes and trimmed the top of the remaining canes to promote a healthy crop of berries. One of the varieties of raspberries we planted in 2010 has done really poorly. We ended up trimming everything back to the ground. If they come back fantastic; if they don’t come back very well then we will rip them out and plant a new variety.
Speaking of fruit, we ordered 2000 strawberry plants this past week. Our current strawberry patch is not large enough for how big our CSA has gotten over the past several seasons and it is getting to the point where it will need to be tilled under and replanted. We want to be able to put berries in the boxes in the future, so we needed to make sure we will have enough plants for coming seasons, thus the large number of plants. It takes one full season for the strawberry plants to grow enough to be really productive, which means I am dreaming about all of the berries we will be picking in 2014.