Tag Archives: kale

Summer Bounty

Everything happens fast. All of a sudden, we are in it, full tilt.

Potatoes are flowering. In the distance, rows of lettuce were transplanted yesterday, looking slightly like a rainbow, between the new raspberry rows.

This healthy Red Russian kale is so nice to see after several plantings have succumbed to devastating insect damage.

This field, with the enormous Valley Oaks in the background, is where the artichokes were last year. It’s becoming the herb zone because it is a little oddly shaped, perfect for small plantings of more perennial crops.

Lots of Sugar Baby watermelons. We’ll have them next week at the markets. Yummy.

Basil growing under covers to protect from the cucumber beetles.

The winter squash crop here is taking off.

Winter squash is flowering like mad and setting fruit to feed us later.

The Roadside Farm Stand has been so much fun. And the sensational garden in front is only just beginning!

Before Rain Buzz

Today the farm was busy with field preparation. It feels like spring. But there was added urgency because much needed rain is predicted. Not just trace amounts, but possibly days of the wet stuff which will hopefully be able to bring us closer to some kind of rainfall normal. We’ll see.

One field is being readied for some long overdue cover cropping. This field has been in constant production for many years, but in the interest of restoration and more fall production, it’s getting tilled, composted and planted with a “green manure” crop which will grow through the spring to build a better soil. In June or July the crop will be incorporated into the soil to augment the fertility and enhance soil structure. The vegetable crop that follows should get a boost from this process.

Another field is being readied for peppers, eggplant and tomatoes, about a month away from target first planting.

Our salad production is in full swing. Rows of colorful lettuces are in stages, some ready to be picked, some already grown past their prime. And some rows are just emerging, barely there yet full of promise. The head lettuces are grown in the greenhouse then transplanted and covered to keep them warm. The covers have been a huge help this year, allowing better growth for many crops, including the kales and chard. The plastic is a bit tricky to attach to the hoops that cover the bed and when it is windy, checking the covers is the first chore of the morning. But even with that issue, the covers are a plus for us.

We are almost out of carrots, but this week was our first harvest of baby Tokyo Turnips and Green Garlic. You can see the beautiful turnip greens are plentiful and vibrant. The next carrot crop is just to the left. The rainbow chard is just out from under covers and shining. Spring is springing.

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?

15 Beds

The farm is hoppin’ busy. The fields are drying and we’re pushing the process along here, by “ripping”. Done at the right time, this will help us plant sooner.

Tuesday was the first planting day since February 11th. Yikes! That’s much later than in many years. They planted chard and kales, lettuces and celery, radicchio and onions. Sparkly with promise.

These carrots are the next crop, probably ready in a month or so.

Lovely Sangria lettuce for Friday's market!

Lacinato kale is pushing to flower and seed. Both types of kale were transplanted last month and hopefully we will begin picking from them before this crop is too far gone.

Here you can see the different environment created by the row covers, and the advantages are obvious. The covered arugula is much bigger than the lettuces in the colder field. We may end up covering some lettuce to push it along. Sometimes covers allow us to plant once and stagger the harvest times.

The greenhouses are filling up. In the warm part of the day, the condensation drips as you walk through and it feels cold when you walk outside again.

Wet Day

Four rows of spinach grow between covered bed. Seeing all the water between the beds gives good reason for planting in "raised" beds.

Lacinato and Red Russian kale with collard make an irresistable green border.

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