And Away We Go!

Over the weekend we started planting out the basement grow room. And now, a couple days later, we have 1,200 plants happily germinating away. We start all our plants in soil blocks because they require no ag plastic and are much better for the plant (that’s what you’re seeing in the picture above).  So far we’ve started [...]

Fall Planting

Fall-Spinach3

It’s the middle of September but it feels like springtime all over again. The days have been warm, the nights have been cold, the grow room is full of plants and once again, lamentably, we have a lot of work to do. Thankfully, fall planting should be our last big push of the year, then we can rest. I’m looking forward to the rest. But before we get there, we still have to put in a few thousand transplants, plant the alliums, direct seed carrots and mache, build some hoops, frame out the ends of our tall hoops, get everything protected against the winter cold and prep our dormant beds for next year. It’ll be a lot of work but it’ll be over soon enough. One last big push.

Fall-Spinach2-2

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The Nursery Hoop, Cuban Black Beans and Escabeche

black-bean-rice

Our tiny 1/4 acre farm is three blocks off main street. The land is zoned residential. We have neighbors living across a six-foot cedar fence. Out my window right now I see lights on inside the church across the street. This is not a traditional agricultural setting. There isn’t an open vista with great views of the sunrise. There isn’t an old barn or broken down tractor (or these days a cell  tower or gas well head) anywhere on the property. Instead we’re surrounded by homes, kids, traffic, churches, schools and people just trying to live their lives. I love our little farm. I need and want our neighbors to love it too. I want to be nothing but a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

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Tomato Soup And The Big Seed Out

Tomato-pot-web

For us, summer started a few weeks ago, in mid-March, during a snow storm that would ultimately drop more than 12-inches. Early on we declared a snow day and spent a morning planting almost 1,000 tomato and pepper plants in our basement grow room. Without question this will be the most important planting session of our growing year. Baring grievous misfortune or outrageous happenstance, tomatoes will be our largest dollar crop by a significant margin (just as they are for almost all mixed veggie farms). Sold as both plants and fruit, they could account for up to a full 5th of our income. In no small way, the financial success of our farm depends on our success with tomatoes. The peppers are important too. While they won’t drive as much income as the tomatoes, they are essential to our presenting a vibrant and interesting market stand. We focus on growing unusual varieties with great flavors and colors. So when the pepper come good, they will help us build a colorful, vibrant and delicious market stand.

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