We are planting tiny seeds and stepping up the little germinated seedlings into bigger flats every week. Many of the seeds are started in 288 cell flats so that lots of seeds can be started in a small amount of space on a heated mat. Once the seeds have sprouted, we move them into 50 cell flats to give them more room to grow and a boost on the season. With these super cold temperatures, 4 last night, and perhaps even colder tonight, we have divided the greenhouse to only heat the area we really need. The sprouted plants are covered in triple layers of remay, all the doors are sealed with insulation, the walls of the greenhouse are inflated, we have some extra space heaters in there to keep the big propane heater from working so hard.
This morning we woke up to frozen water in our house, but the greenhouse was fine. We filled pitchers from the greenhouse to use in our home and even set up a desk in there today to work in the warm, balmy environment and to escape cabin fever! We’ve got our priorities right … got to stick to the schedule if we hope to have produce to sell by early May and full CSA boxes by the middle of May. We are grateful for all the CSA payments we have received, although we still have more to sell if you are interested.
We have lined up a great crew to work with us this year, Kat is returning from last season, Lucas volunteered here when he was 15 and 16 and now wants to work a full season, and Teresa and Christin seem enthusiastic and eager. Several folks who have worked for us in the past are helping a couple of days a week to help us get started. We are grateful and looking ahead with cautious optimism.
Annie Louise and Isaiah
These long, grey January days are just the ticket needed for some rest and restoration after the intense busy season that we have just finished. It is up to us to embrace these days and not to get too distracted wishing for warm, sunny weather. The lovely catalogues with promising pictures of summer gardens are a welcome distraction and help to inspire us to plan for the season ahead. Seeds for the vegetable, herb, and flower crops have been ordered. The calendar is being prepared with the phases of the moon, the signs for each day, and particularly auspicious days for fertilizing, pruning, weeding, transplanting, and direct seeding both above and below ground crops. On each week we will write what we hope to plant that week, weather dependent of course. We have absolutely no control over the weather, but do watch the forecasts and try to plan around it and work with it as best we can. It is time once again to sign up for a CSA share for the 2015 season if you wish. Of course, our produce will also be available at the markets and at our roadside stand if the weekly box does not work for you. Happy winter!
Spring is here … the equinox is this week! I know that many people have been eagerly awaiting the coming of the green along with more fresh produce to eat. Honestly, it is good that there have continued to be cold nights and only a few warm days to hold the blooms back. Otherwise everything gets tricked into blooming too early and then get hit by a late frost or freeze and the crop is lost. It will happen, all in due time.
We finished pruning the blueberry bushes today. Next we have the 3/4 acre of thornless blackberries to prune. It feels good to give the bushes a trim and de-clutter their centers so that sunlight and rain can be accessed by all parts of the bush resulting in plumper, sweeter berries in the months to come. The blueberries are usually ripe from mid June to mid July and the blackberries usually start to ripen around the beginning of August until well into September.