Posted by: A Part of the Solution | May 21, 2010

Inch by inch, row by row

This time of year, it’s all about the garden. This time of year progress is measured in the inch wide cells of seedling trays. It’s measured by the rows, and partial rows, we get seeded or planted every day we can be out in the field. The farm’s garden field isn’t huge. It’s a scant two acres. But after the tractor rakes and ‘beds up’, every stitch of the work that follows is done by hand.

The field is more than one third planted. It’s less than one half planted. We’re now beginning to get ready to put the irrigation system in, so that more than one thing at a time can be watered. We’re looking at and testing our different mulching options: paper row covers, straw, compost, well-rotted manure. This is a year for experimentation and parallel treatments to discover what our best practices will be next year.

Yet with all the hard work we’ve done so far, the fussy farm manager is certain we don’t have good variety out in the garden. He’s worried we won’t have a nice selection to offer our CSA members when we make our first few deliveries. I’ve sort of memorized what’s gone into the ground so far. That way, I can list out the produce we have growing right now when our resident fussbudget gets the blues over our assortment. For the folks at home who’ve been following along, here it is as of our mid-day break today.

Onions: red, yellow, white

Shallots: dutch and french

Leeks: bandit and one other sort

Beets: two kinds–both red, I think

Chard: rainbow and red

Brassicas: Romanesco, four kinds of kale (red hybrid, red russian, lacinato, regular), collards, green cabbage, broccoli

Potatoes: fingerlings, yukons, blue, red bliss

Carrots: yellowstone, snow white, dragon, chantenay, and one other

Lettuce: three or four varieties so far

Basil: Genovese, sweet, thai sweet, opal

Fennel: perfection

Beans: Provider, Haricot Vert, Lima

Peas: 2 kinds, sugar snap and one other

Tomatoes: Rose de Berne

As anyone can see, it’s not a scanty list , and we’re heading into a big planting spree over the next week-and-a-half. Since we’re finally coming up on our last frost date (tomorrow), we’re going to go great guns ahead with nine more kinds of tomato, all the peppers, the eggplant and the Curcurbitas: squash, zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkins. We also have the greater part of the herbs to get in, more beans, more brassicas (radishes are brassicas, and we want succession planting on some of the others, as well as more varieties of cabbage and so forth), more lettuces, more beets, and even more basil.

Next weekend is Memorial Day. The farm will have it’s third Work Party that weekend. Bring tents, kids, work gloves and garden tools. Bring sun block, hats and water bottles. We’ll feed you and even provide cake, since it’s Buck’s second birthday.

Come on up the hill and celebrate the beginning of the garden by getting dirt under your fingernails, and sunburn three inches above the back of your trouser waistband!

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