Spring is a time of great hope for the farmer, but mostly, it is a time for great effort. For nearly two weeks we have spent every possible second in the garden, planting, cultivating, feeding, seeding...the list goes on and on. As we mark one thing off of the list, we add another two in it's place. This is all a very long winded way of saying, that this post will be brief!
Lets start with the bad news first. It looks as if we wont be harvesting as many carrots as we had hoped for. Carrots require cool soil to germinate, and this year the soil seemed to jump from frozen to hot in just a few weeks. The overly hot days have also caused the temperature sensitive rapini and bok choy to bolt. Even as short as this heat wave has been, it is still hot enough to cause entire species of vegetables to fail for the year. Perhaps next weeks cool, wet temperatures will be enough to turn things around for the carrots, but I do not have high hopes for rapini or bok choy until fall.
Now, for the good news. The weather has been perfect for a lot of other plants. Cabbage, onion, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, tomatillo, leeks, corn, and many others are rapidly growing. Above, you can see a cabbage beginning to head. Below, an eggplant transplant.
Here is a Tete Noir cabbage which produces small, dark burgundy heads. This variety is rare outside of France.
A flower is always a great sign. This particular snow white bloom belongs to a sweet Banana Pepper.
Here you can see potatoes beginning to peak out of the ground. It wont be long until we will be digging new potatoes (probably sometime in Mid June).
The 1 row setter that we added to our arsenal this year made quick work of the transplanting. A pile of peppers like these only take about 30 minutes to plant, complete with watering.
Not only did we get 99% of the garden planted over the past two weeks, we also managed to work cattle this weekend. For me, working cattle has come to symbolize the start of summer. It is hot, dangerous work, and I am glad that it is over (at least until fall). But, more on that next week.
Members: We are still expecting the program to begin towards the end of the month. Keep an eye on your email for the actual date. Unfortunately, we can't say for sure until about a week or two before we start. The weather is in for a sharp turn around, and with that change in temperature, is a change in the growth habits of most of the plants. Hang in there and hopefully we will be meeting everyone in a just a few short weeks!