Spring’s typical weather has finally arrived! It’s warm and sunny, with occasional rains — excellent weather for farming. In order to get outside again, I’ll be making this update brief; but I thought you all should have an update on how things are going.
Before Easter, we planted sugar snap and snow peas, and our first plantings of root crops, lettuce, spinach, arugula, and kale. They’ve all emerged, and are enjoying the beautiful weather. Some of the beds have been covered by row cover, others are left bare, and all seem to be growing well. They also have a lot of competition from weeds — because the ground was wet and cold for so long, we had to jump on the opportunity for planting. This means that we didn’t have time to use the flame weeder to kill the first flush of weeds. So, that means we’ll be doing a lot of hand weeding. It’s the cost we paid for a couple weeks of head start on growing the crops.
The tomatoes in the greenhouse are growing well, but they suffered some injury in the cold and dark days of March. Tomatoes, as many people know, are very susceptible to frost — a touch of it will kill the plant tissue. However, they’re also susceptible to “chill” — extended periods of temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Well, in our little greenhouse, with our little heater, we couldn’t quite keep the temperatures above 50 degrees, and the plants suffered some injury. We’ve recently watered them with seaweed emulsion, a very nutritious solution for seedlings, and they’ve perked back up — a little scarred, but apparently healthy otherwise.
Peppers and eggplant can also suffer chilling injury, but they hadn’t germinated until after the cold snap passed. They’re about two weeks behind the tomatoes, and looking good.
This week, we have plans to get out the flame weeder on our next surge of plantings, and plant potatoes. We bought 245 pounds from Alexander’s Lawn and Garden Supply, and are eager to get them in the ground.
Start of the Distributions
When can we expect to start distributing the produce? Well, our first crop should be radishes and baby greens. They emerged last week, and take about 4 weeks to size up in spring weather. We’re almost certain to start by May 18th, and may start a week earlier, the week of the 11th. We’ll keep you updated.
We have a couple of events planned for the next few weeks.
Saturday, April 18th, 11 AM to noon: The Beginning Farmers’ Program, given through the Co-operative Extension, will be visiting our farm for a tour. You all are welcome to join us, see what’s growing, and discuss our growing practices.
Saturday, April 25th, 10 AM to 4 PM: We will have a table at Ag Day at the University of Delaware’s Townsend Hall. Ag Day’s theme this year is “Farm to Table,” perfect for our organization. If you’re visiting the festival, please stop by and say hello.
In the next couple of weeks, we’ll survey all current shareholders for their preferred pickup day (Tuesday or Friday). The distributions are coming close — we’re excited to begin.