2022 – The Wet Spring
Well, so far this Spring has taken us for a ride. Last year around this time we had turned over a lot of beds, planted peas and were well on our way with getting greens in the ground. Due to the amount of rainfall and damp conditions, we're not able to get out into the fields until we have some sunnier days. What does this mean? We anticipate not having fresh greens until June (opposed to May last season). The start of the Farm Share season may be pushed back, but we're waiting to make that call until we are able to get into the fields.
The temp is dropping into the teens a few nights this week, which means lots of moving trays indoors to make sure the cold temps don't do damage. We grow all our starts on heat mats. Which is great for temps 28 degrees and above. So far, this is our first season experiencing these multiple cold day and night stretches.
Our solution to these cold temps? We rigged up an indoor growing area. A little DIY to get our warm weather loving plants through a few cold nights.
When not moving new seedlings around, you can find us under our disco-ball in the greenhouse watering them every other day or so.
Peppers and Tomatoes! It's our first year growing them! In the past we used an organic nursery to help us out since we didn't have enough greenhouse space. So far, our 2 greenhouses have been doing the trick. But the peppers and tomatoes are staying indoors for a bit until we can stay at least in the low 30's at night consistently. So far, all onions/leeks, beets, spinach and a bunch of flowers have also been sewn.
Old Barn storage room = New dry, cold storage
We've been making use of the rainy days. We've upgraded our greens washing area-- adding a new salad spinner, and creating a whole new outdoor wash area. Also, our dry, cold storage got a makeover, which will give our allium crops a better climate-controlled storage environment. Our high tunnel is still a work in progress, and we've made use of every sort of ladder and power tool to get it standing. Tables have been built, chicken coop roofs fixed, equipment greased, new seed starter mix purchased (shout out to West Star Organics!), silage tarp rolled out, drip irrigation fertilizer systems created. Now, we're anxiously awaiting putting all this work to use!
On the veggie front, we've seen our first garlic sprouts!
first garlic sprouts!
Speaking of veggies, our tunnels were capped over winter with spinach, lettuce and onions planted, in the hopes of having veggies earlier this spring. So far we've seen greens! But on the flip side came a new type of pest issue-- thrips. We chose to combat these leaf munchers by releasing green lace wings. Now we wait and see if these beneficial insects prey on the thrips. Our main goal is to not have any pests jump over to other allium crops, like garlic. Cause that would. be. devastating. Am I right??
We're hoping to see tulips peek through the ground soon! Plan is still have Tulip Fest on Saturday May 7th (more details to follow).
CHICKENS! Our farm family just grew over the weekend. We just brought home a new flock of chickens. They came to us as 18 week old pullets, and are slowly learning the ropes of chickening. We changed things up this year, and introduced a new breed to the flock. This year you'll be seeing both brown eggs (from our ISA brown layers) and white eggs (from our White Leghorn layers). Another change is their feed. We switched over to an Organic Layer custom mix from Cashton Organic Feed Mill. We've been wanting to work with them for quite a long time because they source all their feed ingredients directly from organic farmers in the Midwest (many of which are in Wisconsin), do the milling themselves, and have been dedicated to organic practices since they started in 1997. When the ladies do start laying eggs, eggs will be available on a first come/first serve basis to farm share members. Any remaining eggs will go to the Tosa Farmers Market this summer.