Forget love and romance. Forget chocolate dipped berries and delicate, lacy things. This year, our Valentines Day was about dirt, seeds and early onset exhaustion. In short, it was about the farm. Valentines was the day we’d set to begin our farm season. Sure we’d been building, planning and doing farm projects since New Year’s. But as of the 14th we’re putting all those things on hold. From now through November we’re in full production mode.
Early season is about seeds and long hours in the seed room (which has tripled in size since last year). Over the next couple weeks we’ll be seeding out all the plants for our first succession. Things like kale, rapini, broccoli, onions, leeks and chard all get seeded early, either to be grown for the May markets (kale and rapini) or because they have very long seasons (onions and leeks).
This year we’re also hoping to sell a lot of plants to home gardeners. Because most of our land doesn’t get water until May, we rely on plant sales to keep us in business early in the season. Last year, because we grow in soil blocks (which really is a much better way to grow transplants), we had a lot of luck selling plants. So this year, we’re going much bigger. Our plan is to sell over 1,000 large plants (tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers) and 3,000 small plants (everything else including herbs and flowers) in the five weeks surrounding our last frost date (May 18th in Northern Colorado this year). We’ll need to attend two or three market per week through May to get them all sold. But it’ll be worth it if we can start the season on solid financial footing.