Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Keep On Seeding

'Seeding on down the line
Hey hey hey
I say keep on seeding
Seeding my blues away'

As of March 30 the weather has been more cooperative. Today would have been a wonderful day for David to be on his tractor doing some fieldwork and taking care of various other tasks requiring his tractor. The only problem with this is that David’s tractor is in the midst of being repaired. Nothing major is wrong with it, but there are a few minor problems that are being corrected. While it is somewhat frustrating that the tractor won’t be ready until mid next week, the upside is that barring some unforeseen problem arising, the tractor should be in good shape for the coming season. Losing a few days now is preferable to having the tractor break down in the middle of the season when its availability will be much more essential. Short-term annoyance for long-term gain.

While waiting to do field work, seeding has continued at a steady pace. Here is an update on what has been seeded.

March 15- Fifteen more flats of onions. Five flats of celery and three of parsley. Three flats of celeriac (celery root).

March 16- A total of fourteen flats of four different varieties of broccoli.

March 17- Sixteen flats of Swiss chard.

March 18/19- Fourteen flats of fennel.

March 19- Twelve flats of four varieties of cabbage. Twenty-two flats of four varieties of scallions. Four flats of celtuce. Three flats of escarole. Thirty-two flats of kale. And ten flats of kohlrabi.

March 20- Twenty flats of seven varieties of lettuce. Nineteen flats of three varieties of spinach. Thirty-three flats of six varieties of beets. One variety of the beets is called crapaudine. “In 1885, the French book, The Vegetable Garden stated this is one of the oldest varieties. Today some experts feel this may be the oldest beet still in existence, possibly dating back 1000 years. This unique variety is one of the most flavorful, with carrot-shaped roots that have rough, dark colored skin which looks like tree bark. Inside, the roots are very dark, with almost black flesh that is of superior quality and sought after by chefs who want real flavor.” (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds) If you are interested in more information about this unique beet go to: http://www.frenchgardening.com/aupotager.html?pid=12712534853556821

One of the critical components of the soil mix used for starting the seeds is mushroom compost. The compost, along with the peat moss and the other ingredients for the soil mix provides the necessary nutrients the seeds need to start germinating.

 This shows the earliest stages of seeding. A later picture will show how quickly the greenhouse fills up.

The first germination!! A most excellent sight.

This picture taken less than a week after the picture above.

The next four pictures convey a sense of the beauty and majesty of new plant life. These pictures do not do justice to what the greenhouse looks like in person. Some varieties of plants germinate more quickly than others, so virtually each day brings new signs of germination. The process of seeding, watching and waiting, germinating will continue throughout the entire season. The road goes on and on.

As you can tell, David and Rachel have been quite busy. And since March 20 there has been more seeding. The next update will be forthcoming within the next few days. Until then happy and healthy eating.

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