April 2016


What a great time of year; everything is bursting with new life and promise. The farm is such a beautiful and vibrant place with a haze of spring green on the hills and gentle rain and loud cranes and baby plants and lots of activity. It’s been a fun week balancing greenhouse planting with the first harvest. The tractors have been busy tilling the ground in preparation for all that will be seeded and transplanted in the next week. Peas were planted today. Garlic plants are huge. Lettuce heads, broccoli, scallions and onions have been transplanted. It’s spring!

This week we bring to you vegetables that have been grown in the hoophouse along with chives grown outside and ramps foraged from the woods. It is all interesting, but the ramps seem to hold a special interest because they are so unique. Following are some pictures from Monday’s ramp harvest.

Hard at work amongst the ramps blanketing the forest floor.

Hard at work amongst the ramps blanketing the forest floor.

Eric, Becky and Abby showing off some freshly dug ramps. They will break apart the clumps and separate the ramps.

Eric, Becky and Abby showing off some freshly dug ramps. They will break apart the clumps and separate the ramps.

Becca digging up ramp clusters.

Becca digging up ramp clusters.

Now they have been separated from the earth surrounding them.

Now they have been separated from the earth surrounding them.

Leaving the forest with our ramps, all 2400 of them.

Leaving the forest with our ramps, all 2400 of them.

And now to the controlled environment of our hoophouse. Abby and Barb harvesting lettuce heads. To the left are the Bok Choy heads we harvested next.

And now to the controlled environment of our hoophouse. Abby and Barb harvesting lettuce heads. To the left are the Bok Choy heads we harvested next.

Our 1500 square foot greenhouse is full! Now what? We need to move plants out and make room for more. We are at the peak of our spring greenhouse planting season and fill the greenhouse over and over again. When the greenhouse gets full we move the plants out into our hardening off area where they are exposed to cooler temperatures in preparation for getting planted into the fields. But this time of year can be tricky. Our greenhouse is heated but the hardening off area is not. If we move plants out too soon the risk is frost, and we don’t want them to freeze. So we wait until the night time temps are above freezing before moving plants out. It has been very cold at night in our valley, hitting the low 20’s multiple times. Tonight should be the last below freezing night. That means we can move all of the onions out tomorrow, all 30,000 of them! The peppers and eggplants will happily take their place and then we will have a full house again!

A full greenhouse.

A full greenhouse.

Onions! 30,336 cells of them! And 3 to 4 per cell.

Onions! 30,336 cells of them! And 3 to 4 per cell.

This week we will also plant tomatoes into a hoophouse. We’ve been carrying them into the hardening off area during the day and back into the greenhouse at night. This helps them toughen up and also frees up greenhouse space. They rest on the floor at night. We wait for warmer evening temperatures before planting them in the hoophouse since tomatoes are so sensitive.

Crates of tomatoes ready to be planted in the hoophouse.

Crates of tomatoes ready to be planted in the hoophouse.

While all of this is happening in the greenhouse, the Spring Share plants are happily growing in one of our hoophouses. They can withstand temperatures in the 20’s. Once hardy plants are in the ground they have more ability to get through those cold nights. In just two weeks we will begin harvest and delivery of the Spring Share. So sign up for yours if you haven’t already.

A beautiful patchwork of delicious Spring Share vegetables!

A beautiful patchwork of delicious Spring Share vegetables!