We had a beautiful Memorial Day on Monday: sunny, dry, and high 70s. Thanks to the Crops Team for planting cantaloupe and eggplant and harvesting lots of greens and radish for the schools, all on a holiday. Many crops got cultivated with the flex-tine (weeding tool) for the fourth, fifth, or even sixth time, in the case of the potatoes and strawberries. We want to keep stirring the surface of the beds to keep them dry and to uproot small weeds, which the flex-tine helps with. It’s basically a large metal rake that attaches behind the tractor and gets pulled right over the crops (pictured below). The goal is to keep the crops clean so they’re not competing with weeds for water and nutrients, and so we can harvest them more easily.
The hoop house installers were ready to finish the job last Thursday, but heavy winds made it unsafe to work with the sheet of plastic. Saturday morning was calm, so they pulled one piece up and over the peak and attached it at the vent, and secured the second piece on the north side (pictured below). The house has roll up sides and a ridge vent, so can be cooled without running fans. We chose this design so we wouldn’t need to use electricity, and there are no outlets at the house. The next step is to install the drip irrigation system, and then we’ll be ready to plant come fall.
It was a busy week in the fields as we began planting out the summer crops. We wanted to plant peppers on Tuesday with volunteers from Dassault Systemes of Waltham, but the high winds changed the plan. Instead, we chose crops with little foliage (scallions and eucalyptus), and did our transplanting in the front field where the trees offer some protection from the wind (pictured below, volunteers taking the eucalyptus out of the trays). The volunteers then pulled weeds in the perennial garden. This is the fourth year in a row that Dassault has helped us, and we really enjoy working with such kind and attentive folks.
On Wednesday, the Crops Team planted the peppers (pictured below). And on Thursday, seniors from Middlesex School weeded peas and planted cucumbers and broccoli. They worked so well and so quickly that we needed to sprint to keep ahead of them—putting water down with the transplanter and dropping plants for the students to put in the ground. In all the hither and thithering, I forgot to take a picture of this fabulous group. Thanks all for advancing the field work!
On Tuesday we’ll begin stocking greens in the display fridge at the admissions area. The containers holding the greens are compostable. If you don’t have your own composter, we’ll be collecting used containers and adding them to the compost pile in the field. You can drop off your used containers at the admissions window. Thanks for your help with this!
See you in the field,