Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Moving Forward

This seasons seeding started a little later than was planned, but was well ahead of last year. The germination was great and the seedlings have thrived. The seedlings grew up and, in anticipation of being planted, were moved outside to ‘harden’ them. The next round of seeding was accomplished and germination was again successful. These seedlings have also done well and the plants are close to being ready to be moved outside. There’s only one problem- it keeps raining and the ground has been too wet to do any plowing (driving heavy equipment on wet ground compacts the soil- compacted soil is unhealthy soil) and thus there has been no planting. Since the outside tables are full the plants ready to be moved outside have nowhere to go. However, on Monday, May 2 and Tuesday, May 3 David was finally able to do some plowing. First he did some chisel plowing to break up the soil and then he used a disc plow to turn the soil over. The next step would be to rototill the soil to prepare the beds into which the seedlings would be planted. Alas, Wednesday’s rain prevented this from happening. Fingers are crossed for dry weather so that planting can take place within the next few days. Last seasons first planting took place on May 12, so David is still ahead of where he was, but is behind where he would like to be. And so it goes.

Last season David bought a cultivating tractor. The advantage of such a tractor is that it would save labor when it came to weeding between the plant beds. Unfortunately the tractor was not strong enough to pull various attachments- such as the chisel plow. Farmer Matt, David’s mentor from his days as an intern at Cherry Grove Organic Farm, was generous with his tractor and equipment. While David will still benefit from Matt’s generosity with various attachments, David now has a tractor that is strong enough to pull the attachments; a good old John Deere. While David will still need to wait for Matt to be done with any particular attachment, having his own tractor will allow things to go much more smoothly. Better days ahead.

As was done last year, Z Food Farm will spend Saturday mornings/afternoons at Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia (Go to for more information about the market and the organization behind the market). The Lawrenceville Farmers’ Market will be moving from Sundays to Saturdays; yes, we will be in two places at once; more details to come. And the farm stand will be open on Wednesdays and Fridays; again, more information will be forthcoming. In addition to these locations, David will be adding the New Amsterdam Market to his schedule. The New Amsterdam Market is located in Manhattan, where the old Fulton Fish Market used to be. (Go to for more information about this market.). On Sunday, May 1, Z Food Farm made its inaugural appearance at a special edition of the market. All markets will start the first weekend of June. The opening of the farm stand has yet to be determined, but will be around the same time.

David and Z Food Farm are looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. Getting there.

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