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Spring At Last!

May 4, 2012

What an interesting spring we have  had.   Two weeks of 70 -80 degree weather, then a major freeze.  Then warm again, then snow.  I’m placing faith in the idea that this latest warming trend is going to last – at least that we won’t get any more snow or temperatures in the teens!

This week has seen a flurry of activity on the farm.  Tomatoes and peppers were started in the house weeks ago and they were desperately wanting to be transplanted into 4″ blocks outside, so Mark and Jerusha made  380 4 inch blocks and lined them up on boards in the hoop house ready for transplants.  Sad, leggy tomatoes have been placed in their blocks and should be happy again soon.  Alex planted some of her peppers in the hoop house ground as well as putting some in blocks.    Cabbage and Swiss chard were planted in their outside boxes.  Herbs were transplanted into pots and barrels around the yard.

We are watching the kickstarter fund raising campaign as it slowly gains.  There is less than a week to go, so please consider donating and spread the word to all your friends and acquaintances.  If everyone who clicked “like” on the video site gave just $10.00, we’ll reach our goal.  Also, if we don’t reach the goal, we don’t receive any of the funding.  Please spread the link http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1403763605/farmer-pirates-compost-program

Enough of the commercial…. here are some pictures of spring activities.  We are working on expanding to the South of the hoop house.  We have already planted potatoes, fava beans, garlic and peas.  The rest is waiting for warmer weather when we can put out cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, cabbages, kohlrabi, peppers, beans and maybe something more that I’m not remembering at the moment.

garlic

potatoes in the new area that haven’t come up yet

fava beans

We’ve been working on becoming more efficient with our watering system.  The goal is to elevate a large tank beside the hoop house which can be filled with rain water collected from the neighbor’s house.  Then we can use drip irrigation in the hoop house relieving the children from having to carry water in buckets.  Here is the progress so far.

working on the framework for the water tank

Another project this year is moving the hoop house site.  The existing plastic has served us very well for the last three years but it will need to be replaced this fall.  The super long plan is to have three hoop house sites that we can rotate between, resting the ground from the hoop house stress after three years of  intensive use and no refreshing rains/snows.   The hoop houses will be right next to each other and each the same size as the others.  We are preparing the ground now so that it is ready for fall planting and then the hoops and plastic will be erected around the fall plants leaving the earlier site to be cleansed and refreshed.

site for the new hoop house

inside the hoop house

lettuces, carrots, and radishes growing in the hoop house

In the hoop house there are plants growing as well as transplants waiting for the weather to settle.

Here is a picture of me potting up rosemary starts.  I managed to kill all but one rosemary plant over the winter (meaning three).  There is also a picture of peas happily growing in one of the raised beds.

potting up rosemary starts

peas in the raised bed

And, finally,  here are a few random pictures of spring in the city.

foggy spring morning on Fillmore Ave

Airborne dog chasing after bubbles

forget-me-nots in the front garden

Don’t forget the kickstarter campaign!  Thanks for your support,

Janice

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