The Time Has Come!
Yes, the time has come to begin planting. There is still snow and no apparent lasting thaw in sight, but I have the pleasure of working in a 70° hoophouse. Yesterday, Titus planted peas and radishes, I planted lettuce and weeded lettuce, mustard, and mesclun planted last fall, and Mark weeded and watered (shoveling snow into the hoophouse). Nora lay in the sunny hoophouse doorway watching the world go by, trying to recover from a devastating disease that nearly took her life around Valentine’s day. Last year, she was my constant companion out back and I’m so glad she is still with us and able to accompany me again.
Over the winter we were privileged to attend two conferences: the 2011 NOFA-NY Winter Conference (Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York ( https://www.nofany.org/) in Saratoga Springs and the Field & Fork Network’s Farmer-Chef Conference (http://fieldandforknetwork.com/) held right here in downtown Buffalo. Both conferences were informative and allowed us to meet others with similar goals and experiences. We learned some new ideas we plan on implementing on our farm here.
We ordered our seeds and supplies back in February and almost everything has come in. I have spent numerous hours drawing up sketches of the hoophouse and the raised beds out back so I can lay out where everything will be planted and when all the seeds need to be started. I prefer to do this with pencil and paper spread out all over our counter. I have not yet mastered spreadsheets and charts on the computer, nor can I visualize real life off of a computer screen very well. Each year we buy a $5.00 Office Depot desk calendar on which I write the dates to start plants inside, transplant them outside, plant seeds outside and all the succession plantings I plan on doing throughout the season. Most of this paper work is finished now. And THE TIME HAS COME ….
I get to start this week with a new special kind of tomato designed to grow in hoophouses.