This Week on the Farm 4/26
Spring is definitely here! This last month has been extremely busy and there are no signs of the workload slowing down! Our main project for April has been getting our retail greenhouse up and running. We officially open for retail sales May 1 and will be open through mid June and the start of CSA season. Everything in our greenhouse was started from seed here on the farm and we have a mix of annual flowers, vegetables and herbs to choose from. We have a few more benches to install and plants to move, but we should be ready to go this Sunday for our Open House from 10am to 2pm. Come check it out!
In addition to working on the retail greenhouse, we have been prepping machinery for the season. Lots of oil changes, new air filters, and lots and lots of grease have been applied to our tractors and transplanters. Unfortunately we do not have a large pole shed to store all of our equipment, so most of our equipment gets stored outside. Every spring then we have to go through and grease everything up to prevent joints from rusting. We are hoping in the next five years we will be able to build a smaller shed for some of our more specialized equipment, but for now things are okay left outside.
Our new tractor that we purchased last fall works like a dream. We spent yesterday morning transplanting kale, collards, kohlrabi, and broccoli with our three row transplanter. The transplanter is very heavy and until now our tractors have struggled to lift the transplanter. On our older tractors we also do not have a slow enough gear, so the driver had to ride the clutch. This made for a bumpy ride and the transplanter did not work very well. With the new tractor we can go slowly enough that it makes it easy for the riders to keep up, even with very tight spacing, and it can lift the transplanter with ease. It is going to save us a lot of time now that it works well!
Later today we are going to plant our potatoes. We are growing five varieties this year, up one from last year. Potato planting is one of my favorite activities because I get to ride our potato planter which is over 100 years old. Hopefully we will be able to get the potatoes planted in an afternoon. Since we are able to pull the planter behind the tractor and we don’t have to use the four wheeler like last year it should go pretty quickly.
We have one more field to clean up drip tapes from last year and then everything will be ready to go. Hopefully we will be able to get those cleaned up tomorrow so that we can plow and disc that field by the end of the week. That is field is where the peas and fresh beans are going to be planted and it is time to get our peas in the ground.
Other tasks for this week include greenhouse seeding, raking and fertilizing the garlic (which looks awesome!), setting up the irrigation in the strawberries to protect from possible frosts since they are starting to bloom, figuring out how to use our new cash register for our retail greenhouse, and working more fields to get ready for direct seeding.
Our CSA shares are filling up more quickly this year, but we still have space available to sign up. If you are interested in signing up for a winter storage share, we only have nine left, so now is the time to get your paperwork in!