Tag Archives: greenhouse

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.


Transition to Cool

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Brassicas and beets

It’s happening again. Shorter daylight, cooler nights,

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“Winter Luxury” pie pumpkins

The pie pumpkins are all cut and lined up, as they cure. They will be picked up and brought indoors before it starts raining. We will sell them throughout the winter. Our winter squash crop is small this year. It was planted in new low-fertility ground. Building soil takes time.

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Early morning lettuce picking

Today is Thursday, a big pick and pack day for the field crew.

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Lacinato kale and red-stemmed dandelion

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Rows of cabbage planted about 3 weeks ago

We have some beautiful fields, with fall crops coming in; Lacinato kale, celery, celery root, dandelion greens, savoy cabbage, brussels sprouts,.

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Beautiful savoy cabbage, ready in a week or 2

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Little baby brussels sprouts

The greenhouse is filled with lettuce starts and greens.

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Rainbow chard and collard

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Tomatoes cut from their trellises

And the first crops of tomatoes are finished, the drip lines pulled, trellis lines cut. The stakes will be pulled out soon. Then on to the next crop.


After Hours

The garden beside our house is wild these days. Quite a greeting as you venture into the farm.

The garden beside our house is wild these days. Quite a greeting as you venture into the farm.

The farm is in full swing right now and looks beautiful, every corner cared for and organized. Some crops are finishing (broccoli and cauliflower), others are coming into their glory days. The crew is working full days. It’s nice to have easy weather now, 70-80 degrees F. They are striving to keep up with the needs for the whole farm plus pick and pack far more produce. We’ve dropped the salad mix from our “product line” for the second year to help even out the workload.

Paul is always working to restore and improve soils. The rock crusher has been busy lately. It makes a quite nice pinging chorus if you are far enough away. As you approach you can feel the ground vibrating through your shoes and dirt and rocks are flying everywhere.

Growing heirloom tomatoes under the greenhouse tables. We just had our first ripe pink brandywine, last night!

Coming Soon! Heirloom tomatoes growing under the greenhouse tables. We just had our first, ripe, pink Brandywine, last night!

Rows of red onions are drying in the shade. Properly grown and cured dry onions should be good through the winter.

Rows of red onions are drying in the shade. Properly grown and cured dry onions should be good through the winter.

Summer cover crop, buckwheat, has emerged after just 4 days!

Summer cover crop, buckwheat, has emerged after just 4 days!

The area has just been rock crushed. Paul is setting up the beds with a "bed shaper".

I see a painting...

I see a painting…

One of the inescapable features of our landscape is the old Shamrock cement plant to our west. Some friends of ours just bought it! I've always wanted to paint it's portrait!

One of the inescapable features of our landscape is the old Shamrock cement plant to our west. Some friends of ours just bought it! I’ve always wanted to paint it’s portrait!


Pushin’ in February

Peas

Peas

So much is happening. The weather, the great dictator of what happens on the farm, has been very generous to us. It must have been over 70 degrees F. today. Beautiful. We’re planting spinach, turnips, radishes, lettuce, pea seeds in the field. Once planted, some are covered. We may plant beets and carrots this week.

Tomato seedlings

Tomato seedlings

The greenhouse is starting to really fill up with freshly planted flats, some covered, some not. The first planting of tomatoes have blasted out of their flats and pushed the remay into puffy pillows. So have the peppers. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, fennel and onions were all started in the greenhouse flats last week or before.Greenhouse

Lettuce, chard, kales and collard are all being transplanted. Once in the field, they are also covered to insure against wild weather swings. We hope they will feel secure enough to take off.

Covered beds and open ground

Covered beds and open ground

Sprinklers

Running the water

The irrigation system is engaged with the warm dry weather. The final bit of field turning is almost complete as the pipes are hooked up.Pipe

There is an experiment in the new field with planting oats, wheat and barley, side-by-side. Which will be the most beneficial to this soil? We’ll see.

Wheat, Barley and Oats

Wheat, Barley and Oats

The Farm Stand signposts are all that remain of last summer's bounty.

The signposts are all that remain of last summer’s Farm Stand.

Brussels sprouts, covered bed and beyond the farm

Brussels sprouts, covered bed and beyond the farm

 

Daikon radishes are being harvested out of the cover crop between the rows of regrowing artichokes.

Daikon radishes are being harvested out of the cover crop between the rows of regrowing artichokes.


New Year

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The greenhouse tables are full of flats. The covers are keeping birds from the sunflower sprouts.

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Yes, it’s 2013 and the first tomatoes have been planted in the greenhouse, along with their warm weather loving partners, peppers and eggplant. The heaters and fans are being installed and checked. All of a sudden, the incubator is full.

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The crew transplanting lettuce, as Paul pulls irrigation tape and row cover over the finished beds.

IMG_2880_1_1The fields are wet and cold but some ground has been turned and bedded up. Other areas have been planted with transplanted lettuces. And there are spots that are too wet to touch and will wait until later.oak and cabbages_6_1


Summer Starts

I know that the solstice is weeks away but here in Sonoma, it feels like summer has started. Schools are letting out. It’s been 90 degrees days in a row. Vegetable gardens are everywhere and everyone is busy. Outdoor weekend parties are being given and planned.

The farm has some big plans too. We are going to open a farm stand on Saturday mornings, toward the end of this month. The site is quite visible from Arnold Drive as one drives by. Watch for changes in the next few weeks. We’ll keep you posted…

Looking across Arnold Drive at Olive Avenue is the driveway to our new Paul’s Produce Farm Stand. Watch it change!

The second planting of peppers dots the newly rock-crushed field. Fresh tractor tracks indicate these beds were just tractor cultivated. Look how clean it is! The drip tape is getting buried.

Not everything can be tractor cultivated. Wheel hoeing between rows in the allium beds. Not an easy task because there is lots of rock.

Onions, cabbages (savoy and napa) broccoli, cauliflower, fennel and even some dandelion going to flower. Diversity = Thrive

Potatoes and summer squashes

The greenhouse tomatoes are staked and climbing. with some flowers.

First field tomatoes are about thigh-high.


Planting

There is a lot going into the ground today. There is a greenhouse of perfect-sized plants, and prepared fields, dry enough to plant into. Plus, it is a dry day before predicted rain! Seeing the opening, last night, Paul quickly made a planting map … the day’s work.

The crew will work all day, filling the blue truck’s bed with flats of plants and driving to the edge of the ready bed. Then one worker, usually Servando, walks along the row, separating the plants from each other and the plastic flats, then as he walks along, he drops the plant in the row. The furrows are marked with a shallow trench by a tractor mounted shovel. The “dropper” is followed by someone on his hands and knees, quickly scooping soil around the seedling, standing it up and pressing firmly around its stem. When the rows are finished and the water is giving them their first drink out in the field, it’s a little thrill.

This planting includes broccoli, celery, fennel, leeks and onions. They were started in the greenhouse in Feb. This is the first large planting of the year. There is room in the greenhouse for more flats to be started. It feels like the real start of the year. The first crop ready to harvest will be Napa cabbage in about 6 weeks, toward the end of May. Celery, leeks and fennel need 80 days before you’ll see them on the farmers’ market stand. Some of the onions need 100 days.


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