So much has happened on the farm since our last post about the bees. The early spring weather has been especially warm, and we’ve already had our first spout of thunderstorms. Our first CSA box delivery is less than two months away and we are sure getting excited for the delicious produce and warm weather we will soon be enjoying everyday! We still have shares available so if you are interested please sign up! Brochures are still available around a few local businesses such as the Back Alley Bakery, but we can also send you one as well.
In other news, a new farm entails building from the ground up. One of our first major projects was putting up a greenhouse on the property. After a couple of days of hard work. and a lot of testing and figuring out details and solutions as carpenters without a lot of experience, our greenhouse is now up and has worked great providing a warm and protected environment for all of our transplants to grow. We decided to build a modified hoop-house using a combination of treated lumber and PVC. It turned out really sturdy and has already survived its first high wind and thunderstorm.
We then built a workbench, as well as many benches to hold all of our transplant trays. There is a way of starting seeds that was popularized by a pioneer in organic agriculture named Elliot Coleman known as soil blocking. Instead of starting seeds in a closed environment such as filling in a plastic tray with holes, you mix a seed starting medium and by using a soil blocker make blocks with divots to start all of your seeds in. There are many benefits to this method, the main being that your plants aren’t as prone to becoming root-bound. When plant roots reach air (such as when they reach the edge of the soil block) they stop growing. If the roots were hitting plastic, they would continue to grow in a chaotic pattern and become extremely root-bound, which is unhealthy for a plant that is going to be transplanted. The blocks are easy to transplant, and use less plastic which is much more environmentally friendly. We are always trying to make choices that not only make our food organic, but our farm as whole as sustainable as possible. We will give a demonstration of our seed starting if people are interested in the process during our open-house.
Here are a few images of the greenhouse:
A photo of Will and I building the end frames (the basic hoop structure built in the background.
A photo of the greenhouse completed. We planted some rows of soft-neck garlic in a bed in front of the greenhouse.
Will seeding in the greenhouse lit up at night.
And a few photos of the interior.
Here are the blocks that a soil blocker makes (and some baby cabbage within):
In addition, we had a new arrival of ten hens to the farm. A local 7th grader raises a variety of heritage breeds of laying hens and we got ten Ameraucana’s from him, which lay beautiful turquoise green eggs.
They have been settling in their coop and enjoying the warm weather. Here they are testing out their new wall feeder.
Farm fresh eggs are delicious and hens are such fun and beautiful creatures to have on the farm.
We wish everybody a happy Early Spring!