Dark storm clouds filled the valley this morning. Thunder is rumbling and rain drops are falling! I’m excited to have the weather slow us down this morning, give us a chance to catch our breath and to post a quick update here. To be honest, the last couple weeks feel like a blur but luckily I take photos along the way to jog my memory!
Our farm crew started last week, wahoo! We have two full-time employees working for us now through the end of October and we couldn’t me more excited. Working with folks who are interested in agriculture, super fun to work with and excited to learn is the best! I I feel like 2019 is shaping up to be a great season.
Onions are always our first big field planting in the spring. We spent the first half of last week digging up our allium starts in one of the moveable tunnels and then transplanting in the field. The weather was cool and overcast, prefect planting weather!
We widened our planting beds this year to 60” centers so accommodate the cultivating equipment we purchased last fall/winter. We planted these onions at the appropriate spacing so we can come through with the basket weeder to help manage the weeds (amaranth, lambs quarter, canada thistle, bindweed, etc). I am happy to report, we took the basket weeder our for it’s first spin on Wednesday and are pretty happy with the results It even knocked back small canada thistle plants in between the onion rows - which had us shouting with joy in the field!
Season extension! The high tunnel is filled with spring greens (chard, kale and collards), early carrots and snow peas this year. We took the plastic off of this tunnel last fall and let it enjoy all of snow that fell this winter (so much snow!). We are taking this house out of summer production for a little while and will focus on spring cash crops followed by a summer cover crop in hopes of rebooting the soil - the soil felt a little tired after a few years of production. Good reminder that we need to let the soil rest, especially in the greenhouses, and make sure we’re giving back more than we’re taking.
Last week, before the rain, we pulled both moveable tunnels to their summer plots! This involved a lot of coffee, me stressing out and Mike reminding me everything would be just fine. I always worry when we move these tunnels, that the wind is going to show up at any moment or that something on one of the tunnels could break. Luckily neither of these things happened.
We disconnect these tunnels from their t-post anchors, pull the t-posts, raise the frames up enough to attach wheel barrow tires at the front end and then strap to the tractor/truck and pull to structure to their future plots. The weather remained calm and we successfully moved both in one morning. Whew! Check that off the list. We shaped beds in these tunnels this week, so they’re all ready for tomatoes, peppers and basil, aka summer flavors!
And, I need to give a shout out to my younger brother, Jim. He has been a rockstar/farm angel over the past month. It’s been a crazy spring around here and Jim has jumped in, showed up and helped us in so many ways. He helped Mike assemble tractor implements (they’re working on the strip tiller in the photo above), he helped us plant onions and apple trees, assemble caterpillar tunnels, pound posts, lift all the heavy things and even watch the farm for a few days while Mike and I were out of town. He helped me get caught up on the Marvel movies and motivated us to leave the farm in the middle of the day to watch the new Avengers movie… and has had us laughing and joking about the silliest things. Thanks for jumping in to farm life for a few weeks Jim - we love you!
Have a beautiful day!