"Four generations of grocers produce a new generation of farmers."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fools for April

April is upon us. About 400 tomatoes have already been transplanted into the unheated tunnel (their permanent home). There were hours of aching arms while tying up the string support system so it's  in place when they need it. The second round of tomatoes went into bigger pots a week or so ago. In the propagation house the peppers are looking good Lots of other starts as well leeks, lettuces, basil and on and on. Outside seeding has begun carrots a major potato planting , beets and some kale starts, the covered areas first. We're careful about tilling too soon to protect the soil quality. A lot of compost has been moved around to prepare twenty new 40 foot beds.  The garlic has lots of new growth  as well as the spring onions. It's nice to look out there and see everything looking lush despite the damn gophers.  
There have been some disappointments, it would be silly to say otherwise. Like the very special, expensive cuke seeds that were our hope of the earliest cucumbers ever! They made beautiful starts but after they spent a few days planted in the tunnel they just up and damped off completely. Hmmm..... Later info from mentor farmers told us they were prone to this disability, but it still stings some.
Today, Sunday 13th, was gorgeous. The doors to all tunnels open wide for ventilation. There's some scheming going on for a pulley system to make it easier to open and close the ends, especially for mom when she is on duty. Scouring at a local farm estate sale presented the pulleys for this project.
The ongoing fertilizer injection system is still a mystery. How do the big guys do this and where did that pump disappear to after last season anyway???
 The new flock of chickens has been started in two stages. The first batch of 11 chicks
at three weeks old just moved out to the big house and the second wave of 7 more are started inside. We went with an assortment of six or seven breeds for variegated egg color and production. All 18 seem happy and well. They look a bit like disgruntled teenagers at this stage.

Over all we're off to a pretty good start. Winter was good- lots of blissful days on the mountain (farmers play in the Winter). Looking forward to a season of plenty and many long days in the field. Till next time. Happy Spring!

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