You may notice that this weeks blog post is a little late (ok, a lot late). While I am sure everyone is getting tired of hearing about the weather, it has been somewhat perfect for us lately, which means lots of work! We managed to get the first planting of beets, carrots, leaf lettuce, romaine, and spinach in the ground. Later this week we will be transplanting all of the broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and other cool weather plants. Despite the warm days we have been experiencing, it is still technically cool weather season. Until our nights are stable in the high 50's and 60's we can only plant hardy vegetables such as those belonging to the Brassica, Daucus, Lactuca, and Allium families. While that may not seem like very many, you must consider that the family of Brassica contains all cabbage, collards, mustard, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts species. You may also sometimes hear farmers say that it is time to plant the cole crops (often misunderstood as cold crops), which is yet another term for brassicas. Despite all of this confusion, they are all technically mustards. That doesn't help the confusion, since we also have mustard greens. I suppose I should end this science lesson before I lose all of our readers!
Our seedlings have been busy as bees! They are almost ready for transplanting, and are looking extremely healthy and well developed. Above you can see tomatoes, to the left are some peppers, and below the asparagus seedlings. Seedlings seem to hold in the cotyledon (seed leaf) stage so long that you have begin to worry if they will ever be mature enough by their transplant date. This year we are hoping that day arrives a little earlier than our fail safe date of May 5th. Since a single frost will completely destroy all of our tender vegetable crops, we must tread carefully. Beginning on April 20th we will be watching the extended forecast quite diligently, and if it looks like there will be no more frosty nights, we will begin setting them out into the field....the earlier they go out = the earlier we get to harvest!
We received a phone call this week informing us that our potatoes were shipping out, which means we will be even busier (if that is possible). Each seed potato must be slightly sprouted to identify the eyes, and then carefully cut into chunks. Once they are all cut up, they will be dried until the juicy flesh calluses over. This will keep them from rotting in the moist ground when they are planted. We are also expecting our 2 year old asparagus crowns to ship this week. This time of the year is better than christmas...tons of treats in the mail, and stuff we can actually use!
I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather that spring has blessed us with. So often we get caught up in the whirlwind of life's trivial annoyances that we let the surrounding beauty escape us. Try to take a minute each day to let the simplicity of nature envelop and wash over you. Whether it is a simple sunset or the scent of a spring rain, I am certain it will do wonders for the harsh pressures that a modern life imposes on you.
That is all for this week, but luckily it's a short wait until Sunday!