Farm Updates 4/27/20

Hello again, veggie lovers! We’re back for another Monday farm update. We’ve been hard at work over the past week to bring you the produce you know and love.

We’ve done a lot more planting in the greenhouse, and now all of our cucurbita and brassica are planted and ready for a nice head start. Doesn’t sound tasty? Actually, cucurbita is the name of a family of plants including watermelon, cucumbers, squash varieties, and more, while brassica is the family that includes broccoli, miniature broccoli, and cabbage. Yum!

We also finished ripping our first variety of onions. It isn’t as destructive as it sounds. When we give the onions a head start in the greenhouse, the roots of each plant get tangled up with the others. That means that before we transfer them to the field, we have to “rip” them apart, so they can continue growing properly. We had a few thousand onions to separate in this way, so we felt pretty good when it was done.

Another major accomplishment was spreading a huge pile of fertilizer over our field. Don’t worry, it isn’t the synthetic stuff. It’s actually…well, it’s horse manure. But it’s composted, so it looks more like dirt, and it isn’t a risk for pathogens like the fresh stuff is. It’s also wonderful for soil health. Believe us, this was one huge pile, so we really appreciate all the help we got from our family.

We’ve also finished our first cultivation of the season. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, this is basically the process of taking care of the crops once they’re planted. It involves cover cropping, mulching, lots of weeding, and more.

On our farm, we only use hand tools—and our hands themselves—for cultivation work. Scuffle hoes, stirrup hoes, and wheel hoes are a few examples. Larger machines can be very efficient, but they can also be a bit invasive for a farm this size, so we prefer to steer clear of them. We also stay away from all forms of weed killer and pesticides, even the natural kinds.

That leaves a lot of work to be done manually, but we don’t mind too much. We want to care for our land and crops in the gentlest and most responsible ways possible, and we’re prepared to do whatever work comes along with that. 

Thanks for spending a few minutes of your Monday with us! On Thursday we’ll take some time to highlight two specific crops, asparagus and rhubarb, and show off a couple of recipes you might like to use them in. Until then…peas out!