Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sucker Window

OK, I fell for it, I admit it. It's late January but the weather the last few days has been most spring like. Cold, frosty nights and warm, sunny days. I've been taking the opportunity to do some clean up work in the greenhouses. Re-installed the hot bed in the propogation house. It's a simple design. Essentially an 8x12 table lipped with 2x2s. Heating cables are placed and covered with sand. It heats up to about 72 degrees and makes an ideal environment for germinating newly sown flat trays. One thing led to another and the weather was so warm I decided to go ahead and prep some beds and sow some seed. I put in an Asian greens mix. I know it's early and it may fail but really whats there to lose. The earlier cold snap we had killed all of the greens that would ordinarily over winter allowing us to start making mid February deliveries. So why not try it. In reality I'm just mirroring nature. Often times if you walk around in February you will notice quite a bit happening as far as plant growth. If you have things that have gone to seed they will sometimes make an appearance and begin to grow. It only takes a few nice days for these hardy plants to take foot. By the end of the day today, I'll have two of the three greenhouse's sown. It feels great to be back outside accomplishing something and getting some fresh air. My strategy this time of year is to take it easy. Just do a little bit each day and before you know it you can look around and see that you have made a dent.

The first round of seed orders have been placed and will be arriving anyday day now. I'll be sowing flats of lettuce, onions, leeks and other hardy crops by next week. I'll have the prop house full before you know it.

This is the time of year when I really keep a close eye on the weather. Many times we get a nice long dry spell (like the one were having right now) that will allow us to get a little field work done on the drier sections. It can make a big differnce in early production if we can hit it before it rains again. If you miss that window it often does not dry out again until spring. We need a few more dry days, Ive got my fingers crossed.

We have a new piece of land we'll be breaking ground on this year. We're calling it Stonebridge. It's big, twenty plus acres of farmable land. Just getting ready to start the fencing for the first phase which will be just over an acre. We'll be putting in potatoes, winter squash and pumpkins there this year. Its a big endeavor and there is much to do. It's all in the early stages of planning but this is an exciting project and a huge step forward for us. I can't wait to get it up and running.

CSA sign-ups are trickling in. Thanks to all of you who have sent yours in. Please keep them coming. We have alot of outflow right now with no end in sight.

That's the news for now.

Keep well,

Farmer John

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