Sunday, March 23, 2014

New Year, Same Process

"If I had ever been here before
I would probably know just what to do
Don't you?
If I had ever been here before on another time around the wheel
I would probably know just how to deal
With all of you
And I feel
Like I've been here before
Seeded yesterday. Seeded Today. Seed some more tomorrow. Even if a day is missed here and there, seeding is an ongoing activity throughout the season. Some items, like onions, winter squash, and watermelons, get seeded once and that's it. Some items, like kale, Swiss chard, and lettuce will be seeded in regular cycles throughout the year. Some, like cucumbers and summer squash, will have three rounds of seeding and planting.

Here is what has been seeded since the previous post.

March 18- More beets (5 varieties), kohlrabi, kale, celeriac (celery root), and celery.

 March 19- Ficoide Glacial ("It has fleshy, lightly acidic leaves that are covered with shimmering silvery dots. The leaves are crunchy and refreshing in salads, and may also be cooked like spinach".), shallots, celtuce, escarole, lettuce (8 varieties), and parsley.

A word about the ficoide glacial. Last season it was seeded. It had a great rate of germination. It got planted. It did well in the field. It never made it to market. Why? Simple answer- the deer loved it and ate all of it every time it was planted. Well, if at first you don't succeed, try again. So here we go again. The intent is to do a better job of protecting it from the deer. Not sure what the plan is since steps were taken to protect it the first time it was eaten. Everything that was done to protect the ficoide last year was to no avail. This was also true for the first plantings of beets and Swiss chard. In past years we've had problems with deer late in the season. In farm season they were a pain from the get go. Maybe turns will be taken to sleep in the field with the dogs.

March 22- Three more varieties of onions, artichoke, more fennel, and spinach. There were 36 flats of one of the onions and fourteen each of the other two. Each cell had five seeds. Do the math, that's a lot of seed.

As the pictures below will illustrate, the estimate of it taking about three weeks to fill up the green house was inaccurate.

This has been pictured in a much earlier post. It is the schedule of seeding and allows David to keep track of what is seeded, when it is seeded, and so on.

Most seeds are covered with the regular soil mix. Some things are covered with vermiculite. In general vermiculite is a part of the soil mix and aids in the drainage within the soil- it prevents the soil mix from getting too dense and allows for the seed to be able to germinate without rotting. These are flats of lettuce that are covered with vermiculite. While most seeds will do just fine in the darkness of the soil mix, some seeds, lettuce, prefer being covered with a substance that will allow more light to get through.

This is the beginning of the third row of tables.

Two days later the third row is almost full.

This picture gives a sense of how full the green house is as of 3/22. Space is being saved on the left- 21/2 tables will be for tomatoes, peppers (hot and sweet) and eggplant. The glare at the back of the green house is due to the light reflecting off of the newly installed insulation. Why it's taken until this year to insulate is a good question for which there is not a good answer.

Never one to be left out of the action, Ernie is giving David some love and some instructions about how to seed.

Spring is coming!? As of today a 60% chance of snow for Tuesday. And so it goes.
Support your local farmer. Support sustainable agriculture. Support organic farming.

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