If we focus on how much work lies ahead, it could be overwhelming, but we’ve done this enough times that we know it will get done when all hands are on deck. Help is coming soon, our summer intern staff starts next week, and during planting time, all volunteers are welcome. Meanwhile, much has been accomplished. During the next few weeks, it all will come together in a most marvellous way!
Monday was a beautiful sunny day, and I thought it might be fun to take a walk around the farm and show you what it looks like so far. This will be the “Before.” Then, we will do the same walk together in a few weeks after the planting is done, and then once again during the hectic summer bustle, and link those posts back with this one. You with me?
Pay particular attention to this shot. See the greenhouse? It will look quite different very soon.
See the three beehives? The short one in the middle is brand new. We are still feeding sugar water so they will build comb. We have to keep it up until two whole boxes are built out with comb. The two outside boxes are filled with bees and doing well.
I spent quite some time waiting outside one of the hives trying to capture this slightly blurry shot of the bees with their pollen jodhpurs on! How cool is this? I am only about a foot away, and the bees don’t pay any attention to me. They are too busy gathering pollen and nectar.
Notice the excavator on the right of the first of the three photos above. Michael and Desi are doing something very special with it. They are getting ready for three new farm residents. I will tell you more about this later.
Moving on toward the original moveable hoop house, the field has been harrowed and compost spread and mixed in. Next, the rows will be created using the tractor and then we will be ready to plant.
At the front the hoop house are four beds of carrots planted starting in February. Four successions of them. This is where the hoop house was located from last October until a few weeks ago. (See the video in the previous post.) The hoophouse now holds an experimental crop: Baby ginger! We bought some at the farmer’s market last summer and vowed to try it this year. It spent about 6 weeks presprouting in our guest room in a tented warming area. Looks promising!
Over here is the garlic. We never have enough, but we are working on expanding the size of the crop. Every year, we save more to plant. It takes awhile, and you must be patient and not eat it all!
Strolling past the asparagus patch, I can see there will be more to harvest for supper. You can almost see it grow, it comes up so fast! And the recent cool temperatures are just what asparagus needs to thrive! The greens we are now planting love this cool weather too!
Meanwhile, inside the new hoop house, spinach, lettuce, onions and beets are up and growing fast. With the threat of frost seemingly past, (but you never know!!) we will soon have these in the open.
On this side of the tunnel we will plant potatoes. Michael and Bill have invented a special plow that will open up a furrow, and we purchased a couple of disc hillers to put on the cultivator to hill up the crop. No more backbreaking labor!
And on this side, we will plant mostly U-pick crops. Here you see the first succession of peas coming up. The second succession is in, but not up, and we will plant yet one more. When it warms a little, we will also plant green beans, bush and vining, with a trellis, and finally, cherry tomatoes and herbs. We offer a limited number of items for U-Pick at a slightly reduced cost. It is fun if you have kids, or if you just want to groove with nature once a week! My house is up on the hill there, behind those trees!
And here behind the tunnel we will plant tomatoes, very very soon! But first, we have to move it! I will publish photos of the move in my next post.
Back up at my house, here are the tomatoes that will go inside the tunnel. We are trying out a couple of greenhouse-specific types, and also our favorite heirloom varieties like Cherokee Purple and Striped German, among others. We will plant about 150 tomato plants in here and keep them well pruned. Their vines will be trained to reach toward the ceiling. Yields of tomatoes grown in a greenhouse can be impressive!
These will go into the ground right away!