Friday, April 15, 2016

Getting roots in the ground!

The greenhouse has suffered through some really gnarly weather but our pampered little vegetable transplants are doing alright.   To do seeding work in this protected little bubble during a snow storm is very nice… the propane heater kicks on when it gets below 6o degrees, a fan keeps the air fresh and circulating, and if it ever gets warmer than 85 degrees, the automatic vents open and blow cold air through to cool it off!  It is ideal, it is control—it’s easy to understand why so many people are excited about hydroponics and hoophouse growing.  But it can be energy intensive.   
 Fairly soon we’ll start the hardening-off process for our March-seeded vegetables, which means we take the trays of seedlings out into the “unprotected” outside environment, in the sun and wind, and they get to learn firsthand about the cold hard world, but still get some pampering at night.  This is to prepare them for their mature lives in the field, where they need to be strong enough to withstand storms and weather.

Speaking of the field, we’ve started plowing up some of the new sandy ground!  (no rocks!)  Next week the weather looks pretty good for us to plant.  The ingredients are simple:

-       A prepared bed to plant in:  the clover we’ve plowed under takes a few weeks to decompose, and then we’ll sprinkle in a little bit of certifed organic soil amendments and fertilizer (we use Fertrell products), then till up a 5’ wide bed 200’ long, marking the rows we’ll plant with a custom-welded row marker our friend made for us.
-       An electric deer fence to save our crops for the two-legged eaters
-       A drip irrigation system hooked up to a well
-       Plants ready to go in the ground!  We received our onion shipment – this year we decided to buy onion starter plants that were grown in the south where the weather is a bit more conducive in the spring (instead of firing up our greenhouse in February and expensively heating it just for a few trays of onions).
-       Farm workers and volunteers to help plant – will you help?  We’re hoping to get them in the ground mid to late next week, possibly next weekend.  Email:  erin dot dandelion at  if you’re interested in lending a hand.  Onions are easy to plant, and the more hands we have helping the faster it goes!  Donuts for volunteers!

No comments: