Farm Update, April 13

Hi there, nature lovers! We thought we’d give you a little update today on what’s been happening on the farm. There’s a lot to do before we open our farmstand at the end of May, and we’ve been hard at work to prepare for that.

For one thing, we’ve spotted some winter rye coming up in the field. This is a cover crop, which means we don’t harvest it the way we do most of our plants. Instead, we let it grow for a while, then cut it down and let the clippings fertilize the soil. Once the rye goes to seed, our other crops will have some extra nutrients to look forward to!

This is also the time of year when we give some of our crops a head start on their growing season. For instance, we just finished planting several varieties of tomatoes and peppers in our greenhouse. These are heat-loving plants, so the warm environment of the greenhouse is just what they need to get started a little early.

Other crops, like beets, peas, green onions, and spinach, can handle somewhat colder temperatures, so they go outside. We got a lot of these planted over the past week. But as hardy as they are, they still need some protection, so we use a few techniques to cover them up.

Some of them go in the low tunnel, which is a row of metal rods covered with plastic sheets, kind of like a long tent. The plastic covering helps keep the plants inside from getting too cold. Others go in the high tunnel, which is like a bigger, more permanent version of the low tunnel. The crops in this tunnel are covered with a thin fabric called floating row cover, which keeps frost away while still letting us irrigate the plants underneath.

These are all techniques that smaller-scale farmers like us use to extend the growing season of our crops. But don’t worry—they’ll get plenty of time outdoors once the weather warms up! In the meantime, these tricks will give them the early start they need to reach our farmstand (and your table!) as soon as possible.

Thanks for taking a few minutes to check in with us. On Thursday, you’ll find out about some surprising ways you can nourish your body this spring. Some of those ways might even be growing in your own backyard!

Until then, stay healthy, and have a great day!