April, you're so frosty!

 We woke up to a couple inches of snow last week.

We woke up to a couple inches of snow last week.

Good morning,

It's a frosty one here! I think we're currently hovering around 15 or 16 degrees? I was closing things up around dark last night and saw the full moon rise and thought to myself... I bet it's going to be colder than they're predicting. And sure enough! I need to check my notes but I do not remember temps getting this low in April last year. 

The pace at the farm is picking up day by day and I am suddenly exhausted by 9 pm and sleeping like a rock. Are bodies are slowly re-acclimating to farm work, all the lifting, squatting, and walking many miles a day (in circles) on this 12 acre parcel we call home. I love it!   

 Kale in the evening light right before they get covered with row cover for warmth at night. 

Kale in the evening light right before they get covered with row cover for warmth at night. 

The brassicas are all up and looking happy in the prop house and we're preparing to seed the second succession of broccoli, cauliflower, romanesco (trial!), kale, collards and more head lettuce today. We built a couple more tables last week to make space for the basil and tomatoes. The prop house is filling up fast, hopefully there's enough room for everybody! It's going to get tight for a little while but the first round of greens should be heading outside in 7-10 days.

 Loving the bold colors of the early head lettuce seedlings. 

Loving the bold colors of the early head lettuce seedlings. 

As I mentioned last week, we are installing a game fence around the property this Spring, woohoo! So to prepare for the new fence, we have started taking down the  old fence and pulling out all the posts. We removed the oldest fence line over the past couple days and used the tractor to lift each post out of the ground. One line down, 3 to go.

 Pulling fence posts with the tractor.

Pulling fence posts with the tractor.

I collected more material and supplies at Home Depot over the weekend for the moveable tunnels and started cutting and bending pipe yesterday. I'm anxious and excited to see these tunnels come together. We're still contemplating how exactly to build them so they move across the field with ease and more importantly how to anchor them to the ground so the wind doesn't toss them around. Little details.

We've started repotting the peppers. SO. MANY. PEPPERS! We're excited to expand our pepper production this year and are growing many Shishitos and Padrons, along with sweet bells, pimentos, italian roasters and poblanos. Mmmm hmm. Get those cast irons ready for blistering peppers folks!

 Spinach almost ready for transplant. We're experimenting with transplanting spinach this season to deal with spotty germination and to get a jump on the weeds.

Spinach almost ready for transplant. We're experimenting with transplanting spinach this season to deal with spotty germination and to get a jump on the weeds.

And the most exciting thing happening... our first full-time employee starts this week! Mike and I came to the conclusion last season that we were trying to do too much on our own and that we needed help at the farm. We are not interested in the internship model that so many other farms use, because farming is hard work and we feel that the people doing this work should get paid a fair wage. Lets lead by example, as my Mom would say, and make sure that the people producing the food that nourishes our bodies are able to making a living doing so. We crunched some numbers last Fall and decided we could hire an employee in 2017. I think having another person at the farm is going to be a game changer. More of those little things we don't have time to get to each day will be completed and the planting, seeding, harvesting, etc will all happen at a faster rate with another set of hands here to help. We hope having an employee will allow us to take one day off a week this season, and maybe we'll finish our work days before dark? We'll see! And more than anything, it's going to feel so good to share the knowledge we've collected over the years with somebody who is considering farming as a career.