In your share this week:
- Salad Mix
Sorry, the only produce that was available to harvest this week was the salad. There is a lot more growing and will be available in a week or two. Some of the crops we hope to harvest soon are the arugula, Chinese cabbage and boc choi.
This CSA season is shaping up a little differetnly (as compared to the past few years). I remember the excitement of seeing the snow melt "early" and talking to people about getting a head start on our farm season. Then came the snow, more snow, many dark days, and some very cold spring temperatures. So while we were ahead on some projects, there isn't much produce yets to show for our efforts. There are a few things the plants absolutely need to grow–sun shine and warm temperatures. We just didn't get much of either in the early spring like we needed to ensure a nice May harvest.
Meanwhile, we keep working, planting seeds, and transplating seedlings according to the schedule Shain has developed over our many years of farming. My guess is we are going to experience an abundance of crops all ready to harvest at once. So much for trying to space out the plantings a little.
A few recent pictures from the farm:
This is greenhouse 1 from where I cut this week's salad greens (two multi-colored rows). The two rows to the left of the white row cover are Japanese turnips and radishes. The row on the far right is arugula. The crops in this greenhouse have struggled through the worst of our awful spring weather. After a few nights of single digit temperatures, we thought to call it all a loss, so Shain immediately planted greenhouse 2 with these same crops. From experience, we knew the salad would proably pull through. The turnips, radishes and especially the arugula, however, looked pretty bad. At one point we even decided to turn these rows under and start from scratch, but got too busy. Forward a few weeks and now they are growing again. Isn't nature amazing! The growth of these crops is delayed by a few weeks, but we will still get some good eating out of everything planted in this greenhouse afterall.
Greenhouse 4 is filled to the max with multiple, very long rows of kale, Swiss chard, red onions, sweet Walla Walla yellow onions, Chinese Cabbage, Boc Choi, and head cabbage. It was a little extra work to rake the wood chip mulch out of the way to make long rows for tranplanting, but it appears to be well worth the effort. Weeding this space is really being kept to a minimum and the ground is holding moisture very well.
One of our big projects each spring is getting the plastic covers over greenhouses 3 & 4. They are not built to withstand a heavy snow load, so off the covers come each fall. Getting them on again requires at least 6 people and takes about 2.5 hours. In this picure, we are starting to pull over the plastic with ropes. Very carefully, slowly, a little at a time, and all together. There is usually a lot of laughing and teasing going on too.
Can you see all the weeds that will soon be under cover here? This is the only greenhouse we were not able to compost and mulch before winter set in. We will be weeding in here a LOT this year. There will be a significant amount of weeding to do before we can plant and then more of it all summer long. We've observed that even if it is a lot of work to mulch with the wood chips, it doesn't require as much effort as weeding the same area multiple times per season.
Hope you have a great week. Enjoy your salad! It's kind of famous.