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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

News from the fields

News From the Fields:

Garlic is up!
Field preperation
It has been very busy on the farm recently. We started seeding in the greenhouse in mid march and have continued at a hasty pace. The greenhouse is filling up! In the fields the garlic is up, and the chickweed and henbit are in full bloom. We have been busy preparing the fields to create a welcoming environment for all the crops we will grow this year. Last season I purchased a drop spreader to apply fertilizer soil amendments. The drop spreader allows us to apply custom fertilizer mixes that are specific to each crops needs and apply them directly to where the plants will grow. We used to only be able to apply fertilizer field wide or by hand. The drop spreader has been getting a lot of use the last few weeks. We purchased a few other key pieces of equipment over the winter which will really help streamline our systems on the farm freeing us up to hopefully spend more time on innovation as well as engaging with you  in the barn and fields.

Apprentices Jared, Diane, and Phil problem solving
This week we are dodging rain drops to get some of our early plantings into the ground. We are planting onions, strawberries, kale, broccoli, chard, beets, peas, and fava beans (to name a few). We have a lot to do but we have three talented apprentices that joined the farm team at the beginning of April. They have already begun learning about crop planning, greenhouse maintenance, field preparation, and tractor operation. You will be hearing from each of the apprentices this season in the CSA distribution area as well as through the blog, and at our programs and events.

First lady beetle of the season
A day at the spa
As I mentioned above we have been transplanting strawberries this week. You will notice a few new aspects to our strawberry planting this season. First off its in a different field than it was last year. Secondly the strawberries have been planted into plastic mulch. We are using plastic mulch because it allows us to run irrigation lines for the strawberries as well as reduces weed and disease pressure. Thirdly we have planted day neutral strawberries which will fruit a little later than you may be used too but should produce fruit for a longer period during the summer.

Andrew laying plastic mulch for the onions

We are all looking forward to sharing the fruits of our labor with you soon.

Your Farmer,