With our spring CSA season on the horizon, we’re back with more updates from the farm’s Crops Team. Follow along for the latest news from the fields this growing season.
How’s your garden growing, veggie lovers? Our first peas, fava beans, and spinach are up, and seemed to have enjoyed last Friday’s storm. We got the first seeds into the ground on March 24, and are following our regular seeding schedule: greens each week, roots every other week. We began transplanting lettuce to the field in early April, and have since transplanted leek, scallion, kohlrabi, and beet seedlings. In the past, we’ve seeded beets directly to the field, but haven’t been happy with the results for several years so are switching it up. We rarely find the time to thin the rows, and this leads to small beets prone to foliar disease. The advantage to starting beets in the greenhouse is that you can space them properly as you plant them. The disadvantage is that it takes loads of time to plant the beds we had previously seeded in a matter of minutes. Wah! You mean we can’t have it both ways? Despite the painstakingly slow transplant, we’re going to try this same method with chard.
We planted out a quarter-acre of new strawberries on April 14 and uncovered the over-wintered patch on the same day. In the week ahead, we’ll plant out the first kale of the season under ProtekNet and start the two-week process of transplanting forty thousand onions. As usual, we have our remarkable volunteers—Anne, Sheila, Francesca, and Allison—to thank for their dedication to keeping up with our ambitious greenhouse seeding calendar.
The Crops team has been busy since the mid-February tapping of sugar maples. We’ve been bottling syrup; installing an overhead irrigation system in the hoophouse; applying compost to the fields with our new spreader; cleaning the Green Barn, greenhouse, wash station, and crops vehicles from top to bottom; harvesting, donating, and selling greens from the greenhouse and hoophouse; hiring and training new staff members; researching and purchasing a new grant-funded box truck; and trying to get everything in order before the season truly begins, and, like a Gravitron, thrillingly spins us out.