Sunday, April 15, 2012

Getting There

Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above
Don't fence me in
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love
Don't fence me in
Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever but I ask you please
Don't fence me in

During the first season at Z Food Farm, part of the back field was fenced in. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that the goal of a deer fence is as much a matter of fencing the deer out as fencing the vegetables in. This season David will be expanding production and will be growing in areas that are not currently fenced in. Since David is in business of growing his crops to feed people, not deer, the fence is going to be expanded. The posts are now in the ground and within the next week the wiring will be strung from post to post. (A prolonged process that is rough on ones fingers.) Once the fence is up and electrified, David will begin preparing the soil in anticipation of planting. The planting could be able to start in about two weeks.

As mentioned David will be growing upwards of 65 varieties of tomatoes; about 60 of these will be heirloom varieties. (Heirloom vegetables are old-time varieties, open-pollinated instead of hybrid, and saved and handed down through multiple generations of families.). As you might imagine there will be tomatoes of all sizes, shapes, colors, and flavors. A sampling of what will be available includes: Sungold cherry tomato, Garden Peach, Black Krim, Arkansas Traveler, Black Zebra, Red Brandywine, Boxcar Willie, New Girl, Eva Purple Ball, and Yellow Brandywine. The size, color, and flavor are as varied as the names. A couple of early varieties should be available towards the end of July. Once early August rolls around there will be an avalanche of tomatoes. Depending on the weather, tomatoes should then be available well into September. If you are a fan of fresh, local tomatoes, this will be your time of year.

Support local farmers. Support organic farmers. Happy and healthy eating to all.

The process of bringing the plants outside from the greenhouse has begun. The purpose of bringing the plants outdoors prior to plant them is to 'harden' them up prior to planting.

This is an area, one among many, that gets very muddy when wet. David obtained some wood chips and is spreading them out to help absorb some of the water and to cut down on the mud.

As flats are being taken out, the greenhouse is still 'full'. Various plants are started in small celled flats. This is to aid in the development of the roots. At a certain point the baby's need to be moved into bigger celled trays; this is called potting up. Currently onions, scallions, and parsley have been potted up. In the weeks ahead, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplants will be potted up.

These are the posts that were placed around the perimeter of the field. The next step will be to screw on six conducting knobs on each post; the wire is wound around each knob to hold it taught from post to post. Next, six strands of wire will be strung from post to post. This will be a very time consuming task.

These are some of the onions that have been potted up.

Peace, good health, and hopefulness to one and all.

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