With a splash of winter for good measure. It’s 34 degrees as I write this (early Thursday morning). We tend to define spring and summer by the crops that are growing. Spring began in February with seeding for the spring share and since we are delivering our last spring share today, we declare it to be the beginning of summer. The hoophouses have totally transformed. Yesterday we planted peppers (4896 of them) and eggplants (2880 of them) into the fields. Today we will plant all of the tomatoes, summer squash (including zucchini), winter squash and cucumbers. Earlier in the week we transplanted the first sweet corn and all of the basil for the Pesto Fest. So you see, it is summer on the farm. Now the evening temperatures just need to get out of the 30s.
Transformation of the hoophouse:
Rachel planting tomatoes into the hoophouse on April 7
This is what the hoophouse looks like today.
The hard working people that grow your food! Here we are Wednesday afternoon after a long day of bagging and washing crops for the last spring share and transplanting lots of vegetables into the fields. Standing: Chris Klaeser, Tom Sonnenberg,Eric Perkins, sitting: Eric (J-Mo) Friedericks, Barb Perkins, Becca Osborne
David Perkins (in tractor) and Jesse Perkins (standing). These guys prepare the fields and operate the tractors for transplanting.
See you in June!
It’s a day like today that defines spring on the farm. The day starts with filling two box trucks with transplants. Celery, broccoli and Brussels sprouts into one truck; popcorn and lettuce heads into another. We then loaded up our transplanter with spinach plants and three people headed out to transplant. Three others stayed at the greenhouse to reorganize. All of the plants that headed out to the fields had been staged in the ‘harden off area’, the attachment to the greenhouse where plants go when it is soon their turn to be transplanted. In the harden off area the roof can be rolled down and the side walls lowered. The plants get to experience real world conditions. Those of us at the greenhouse moved thousands more plants out of the greenhouse into the harden off area to get them ready to be transplanted next week and to make more room in the greenhouse for the plants we continue to start. We finished doing that, bagged up the greens for today’s delivery, harvested a few more crops and called it a day. 24,400 plants had been transplanted and the Spring Share was ready to be delivered. Happy Spring.
Rachel walking out to the field behind the transplanter loaded with spinach. The two dogs are pretty excited to be part of the activity.
Rachel and Becca transplanting lettuce heads.
Eric washing salad greens. The greens are submerged in cold water. This gives us the opportunity to mix the different varieties together while washing the greens. Eric lifts the greens out of the water and puts them into the white basket which gets placed into the tall silver salad spinner to remove excess water.
Ching and Rancy washing and banding radishes.
The fun of spring share is we get to work inside (hoophouses and greenhouse) and outside. Some of the outside crops we have cultivated and others Mother Nature has provided. All of the cultivated outside crops are perennials; meaning we plant them once and they grow year after year. It’s always amazing how anything can live through a Wisconsin winter! The chives and sorrel were planted about 5 years ago and continue to get bigger and stronger each year, although we do need to keep them weeded all year. And when we go into the woods and down to the stream we become the gatherers that our ancestors were, eating what Mother Nature intended us to eat at this time of year. Eating locally and seasonally has an ancient wisdom for health. Thanks for joining us in this local, seasonal eating adventure. Enjoy all that’s in your share today!
Our second week in the woods harvesting ramps. In this area of the woods the entire forest floor is blanketed with them. Eric digging up a cluster of ramps while Chad, Rachel and Becca separate individual ramps from already dug clumps.
Eric, Eric (J-Mo) and Chad harvesting dandelion greens. Tat soi in the foreground.
Lettuce head harvest. Becca, Rachel, Yhun and Rancy.
Becca harvesting. This bit of spring fed water is just down the hill from the barn.
Chad filling his crate. We cut the watercress just above their roots, a bit above the water.
Rachel moves her pallet so she can get further out into the spring fed stream. If we step off the pallet, down into the muck we go.