Tag Archives: fava

Hello again…

I am amazed I have not posted in such a long time. I am sorry to jump over months of farm activity.

This year, as always, we have much less produce coming out of the fields, than at other times of the year. We’re running into shortages at the market, running out of salad crops within an hour of the start. Beds in the field are damp and cold, not conducive to plant growth. But ground is drying and things are being planted. Our tables will again be full in a month or so. Let me catch you up, visually.

Fava beans are blooming madly.

Fava beans are blooming madly.

This crop of artichokes is especially delicious. Hope you can get some at the market while they last, another month or so.

This crop of artichokes is especially delicious. Hope you can get some at the market while they last, another month or so.

Yesterday's brassica planting

Yesterday’s brassica planting

This crop of Red Butter Lettuce should be on our market stand next week.

This crop of Red Butter Lettuce should be on our market stand next week.

Kales

Kales

Peas in full flower. We'll have sugar snaps and English shelling peas this year.

Peas in full flower. We’ll have sugar snaps and English shelling peas this year.

Second planting of peas

Second planting of peas

Paul is very busy this spring.

Paul is very busy this spring.

Baby lettuces

Baby lettuces

The greenhouse is  wonderful place to work on a blustery day.

The greenhouse is wonderful place to work on a blustery day.

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Busy Spring

IMG_5555The words “busy” and “spring” are synonymous on a farm.

Fields are drying quickly and the cover crop wants to be “harvested” and turned into the soil, creating an instant carbon boost helping with fertility and soil structure. Once mowed the debris from the crop digests for several weeks or until it’s structure is all but gone allowing the finished bed to be even and smooth.

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Furrows help dry the soil.

The cover crop consists of bell beans, austrian peas and oats.

The cover crop consists of bell beans, Austrian peas, barley and oats.

Then the field will be rototilled. Sometimes when a field is tilled, the soil moisture is still too high to plant. To speed drying, furrows are made with shovels on the tractor.

Once a field is flat and weed-free, it’s ready to be planted. And there are many transplants lined up waiting for space.

Transplants and irrigation supplies

Transplants and irrigation supplies

The whole crew works the plantings. The irrigation has to be set up. Most everything is on drip lines which have to be pulled and hooked up to the water supply. Some crops require covers. For example, the first tomatoes and peppers (Padron) are in and covered.

Additionally, many things are being harvested at this time of year, adding to the day’s diversity and the community’s health. We are so happy to be able to grow this excellent food.

The artichokes are finishing.

The artichokes are finishing.

These carrots are just beginning to be harvested.

These carrots on drip lines are just beginning to be harvested.

Asparagus harvest today

Asparagus harvest today

Picking peas and sage in flower

Picking peas and sage in flower

Raspberries with lava beans in the background

Raspberries with fava beans in the background

The first peppers in the field have their own greenhouses to give them a little boost.

The first peppers in the field have their own greenhouses to give them a little boost.

Spring purplette onions

Spring purplette onions

 

Even the sweet peas at home are growing like crazy.

Even the sweet peas at home are growing like crazy.


Keeping up

One requirement for a good farmer is to be able to juggle many things. Today, as I walked around the farm, I noticed the following:

Shallots have been pulled and are drying in the field. There they will stay for a week or so, then go into shade for further drying before long storage inside. These shallots were planted from seed in the greenhouse in February and planted in the field April. Fresh shallot harvest began about a month ago.

Lots of ground is “open” right now, either furrowed as shown on the left side of the sprinkler line or bedded up and ready for new plantings, as shown on the right. The furrowing step helps the soil dry more thoroughly and helps the breakdown of the previous crop residue. When the soil is at optimum moisture levels compost is added and it is shaped into beds. After bedding up, organic fertilizer is worked into the beds and given a chance to assimilate into the soil before planting. Beds are irrigated to promote breakdown of previous crops and organic fertilizers.

The next crop of carrots is coming along. We’re glad the huge carrots are still tasty. It’s a trick to estimate how many carrots to plant to make sure there are enough until the next crop comes along. Looks like these 4 beds will be ready when we need them. About the time one crop is nearing picking the next crop needs to be planted. At approximately 20 seeds per foot, a typical planting of 4 x 200’ beds requires 50,000 carrot seeds!

Paul has planted a smattering of beans this year, several varieties, not a lot of any one. They will go into our CSA boxes. Anything extra will show up at the farmers markets. One variety is called Jade, a typical snappy green bean. Rocdor is a yellow wax bean with a very bad name. And Jumbo is a large Romano-type. They are flowering and we may have our first Jade crop next week.

The new field is getting outfitted with pipe and plants. Expecting a wave of grass and new weeds, Paul spaced these artichoke rows at twice normal to deal with the extra work on weeds. In fall, he’ll plant a crop like fava beans or broccoli deCicco between these chokes.

For those of you in the area, Paul’s Produce is part of the Saturday morning (9 am until 1 pm) farmers’ market at the Sonoma Community Center, giving folks another opportunity to buy our produce. Come down and meet our new employee, Teresa Alampur. She has a multi-cuisine background (think Thai and Indian) and a deep love for yoga. We’re lucky to have her enthusiasm and energy join ours.


Easter Tour

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Earth Day market

Planted last week, these tomatoes are snug as a... never mind. They are warm!

It feels like we’re turning a corner and off in the distance, I can feel summer. Our Tuesday night market begins May 3rd. The fields are in good shape (except where flooded last week) and the weather is becoming predictable. The first peppers were planted today, quite early but covered to keep the temperature up. Together, with the covered tomatoes, summer couldn’t be too far away, could it?

The market was very well attended this morning. We did sell out of salad, even with the extra we brought. Sold all the spring onions, radishes, kale, broccoli raabe, spinach and sunflower sprouts. And certainly all the most beautiful first fava beans. Favas for Easter equals sublime.

And peas are coming. You can see them climbing up the trellis poles on the left side of this picture. Paul’s planted both shelling and snap peas. After the peas, come lacinato kale, red Russian kale, chard and carrots. The sprinkler line intersects two plantings of carrots about a month apart. We’re hoping to bring the first carrots back to market in 2-3 weeks, maybe by the first Tuesday night market?


Fava Flowers

The fava beans are flowering and lush. Some of our restaurants are buying fava leaves, Fig Cafe and El Dorado Kitchen. The beans are still at least a month away, but the rains didn’t slow the plants strong growth.


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