Crops Update: Week 3

What a busy week! We’re halfway through our Spring CSA and gearing up for a bountiful Summer. We did a lot of planting and began weeding in earnest with much appreciated help from three volunteer groups. On Tuesday, thirteen volunteers from the insurance company AmWins planted our first round of broccoli and all of our peppers. Then, we ended the day by covering the broccoli to protect it from flea beetles. The next morning, we removed the cover from the first four beds of onions that we planted in the last week of April, as the onions have reached a size of maturity where they can withstand damage from the onion fly. Also, weeds had grown up so thickly in the warmth under the cover that it was difficult to even make out the onion plants!

The team did a great job hoeing between the onion rows and knocking down the majority of weeds. We were helped by twenty-one volunteers from who pulled the in-row weeds, which was a big job. Some volunteers also helped us remove the flowers from the first-year plants in our newly planted strawberry patch, while others began transplanting 4,500 leeks. The flower clippers joined the leek planters, and many stayed late to finish a bed.

Seniors from Middlesex School planted the last tray of leeks the following day, weeded two more beds of onions, and planted the next succession of basil and scallions—2,200 seedlings in all. Thanks to all the volunteers for your amazing help. With many different groups of volunteers working on different parts of the same project, your contribution allowed us to meet our goal for the week, which was to finish planting all the nightshades. Because of what we accomplished earlier in the week, we had time to plant the first succession of eggplant on Friday and tomatoes on Saturday.

While the rest of us worked with volunteers on Wednesday, Andrew Kelliher and Sarah Lang broke away to prepare a room for a meeting of area farmers. Farmers from Lexington Community Farm and Clark Farm in Carlisle gave presentations on crop planning and microgreens growing to an audience of beginning farmers, finishing with a tour of Drumlin Farm’s crop fields. Around dusk we saw five deer coming down the Drumlin and across the bobolink field. For now, they seem to be eating only cover crop but if they find the carrots, we’ll have to begin spraying Liquid Fence repellent, a natural product made from rotten eggs and garlic oil; deer hate the smell. In the week ahead, we’ll plant melons, the second round of sweet corn, and more flowers, as well as harvest cilantro and kohlrabi for the first time.

See you in the field, 

Your Farmers