Yesterday when I woke up I thought it was March

28 02 2009

On Wednesday, our friend Shelley came over and helped me plant some peas.  We planted most of the sugar snap peas.  It was nice to have some one else in the field helping out.  My friend Tim, is coming pretty soon to help me out for the season.  I cannot wait to have someone dependable to regularly assist me with this season’s mayhem.  Progress will be swift.

Then on Thursday we had some friends over.  It sometimes is a little overwhelming here, and a couple hours of forgetting about it all was needed.  We ate and drank, and got a small dose of socialization.

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We need to get more crocus bulbs.  Although it seems like March, it is not even spring.  With more crocuses we could give spring the welcome it deserves.

Once again the subsoiler sneaks its way into a picture.  It helped work the first onion bed we amended.  The soil looks kinda nice, but it is still really sandy.

OK.  We are feeling very accomplished, yet there are mountains of work to be done.  The planting of the onion sets lasted most of this week.  We were not as prepared as we thought to be able to plant them out with efficiency.

It was too wet out for the mechanized tiller to work properly, and the shovel worked beautifully.  A 4×40 bed was double dug extending our allium bed to a total of 120 ft.  This took about two days .  Then composted manure was hauled by wheelbarrow from our neighbor’s house down the drive.   This activity took another two days to finish.  The actual planting of the onions took minimal time compared to building and amending the soil.

All of our brassicas are germinating really well in the greenhouse.  They enjoy the warm dampness; it has also encouraged the growth of some yet unknown insect pest.  The pest seems to have a taste for only brassica seedlings.  The second picture shows only little green stems of decapitated seedlings.  This is clearly insect damage, and there seems to be a few possible culprits: slugs, snails, aphids, earwigs.

Sadie, what a lovely lady you will become.  She was in the field with us rocking out to The Stooges, and eating horse manure.  We dress her real good in overalls and John Deere apparel.

Gabrielle went to the grower’s market and food safety meeting.  She returned with some interesting information about maintaining food safety on the farm for produce to be sold at market.  Most of the information we already know from working in kitchens, but somethings can be easily overlooked when you are outside and in the dirt.  Somethings that we need to keep in mind for farm food handling is keeping as many animals as possible as far away from the produce as possible.  This means dogs, cats, and all wildlife.  Another is having labeled food handling bins only for food.  We cleaned all our bins thoroughly last year, but we used them for several purposes.

It is called the Grower’s Market in Grants Pass instead of the Farmer’s Market because there is already a store by that name.  We are going to sign up to be at market this year to be able to have another available outlet to sell our vegetables.  There are still some CSA memberships that are waiting to be filled, so sign up now.

Lastly, we started planting our second round of brassicas, onions, flowers, and tomatoes in the greenhouse.  We ran out of our plastic flats for our soil blocker during the first succession.  We thought we could easily scrape together some more flats from local nurseries, but they all return them to the supplier.  These plastic flats are not cheap, and they cost well over a dollar even if you buy a hundred of them.  Instead, after much debate whether to buy some or not, I just started cutting all the extra plywood around the place to the exact size to fit 98 soil blocks.  They are just boards now, and maybe they will get some sides.  They work pretty well so far.  That is some bitchin thriftiness.

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