Tag Archives: kale

Frosty Farm

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This savoy cabbage will be especially sweet!

The weather is much cooler than we are used to here in Sonoma Valley. It’s predicted that we will have more than 10 days in a row of below freezing temps. Everything is compromised with weather like this. We’re trying to keep water running as cold crops fare better when the ground is moist but the pipes are frozen well into the day. Couldn’t get the water on until after 2 on Friday.

The crew is starting later, wearing more layers, working in the greenhouse as much as possible, but no denying it’s no fun harvesting vegetables in this weather.

Recent transplanted Red Russian kale is stalled, but not dead.

Recent transplanted Red Russian kale is stalled, but not dead.

The fennel fronds have diamond necklaces.

The fennel fronds have diamond necklaces.

The lacinato kale is resilient but certainly not growing with this weather.

The lacinato kale is resilient but certainly not growing in this weather.

Some of the most vulnerable beds are covered.

Some of the most vulnerable beds are hooped and covered with remay.

The spinach should grow out of this freeze

The spinach should grow out of this freeze

We don't quite know what to expect with our artichokes.

We don’t quite know what to expect with our artichokes.

The cauliflower is nestled down under lots of full, icy leaves.

The cauliflower is nestled down under lots of full, icy leaves.

I think this broccoli wants to be picked!

I think this broccoli wants to be picked!


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.


End of May

It was premature to think that summer had begun. It’s sprinkling now. The greens are greener when seen under a grey sky. Many summer crops have been in the ground for weeks, and are struggling to stay ahead of the insect pressure. Cucumber beetles are very active and making a mess of the first bean crops, beet greens, cucumbers (natch). Once the heat comes, the plants will outgrow the damage. We believe in history and the power of positive thought.

Here’s a virtual “Walk-Around” of the farm today.

We've had beautiful summer squash, though can't seem to get enough zucchini flowers to fill our chef's orders.

We’ve had beautiful summer squash, though can’t seem to get enough zucchini flowers to fill our chef’s orders.

The rock crusher has been busy pulverizing this field. It's very time and resource consuming, but the improvement is huge.

The rock crusher has been busy pulverizing this field. It’s very time and resource consuming, but the improvement is huge.

Rocky field will get "crushed" very soon.

Rocky field will get “crushed” very soon.

We've been enjoying an abundance of brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage) which are finishing up. Luckily, this next planting should be ready in a couple of weeks.

We’ve been enjoying an abundance of brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage) which are finishing up. Luckily, this next planting should be ready in a couple of weeks.

Celery is coming soon.

Celery is coming soon.

This field has not been cover cropped in a long time. It's been too important. It's nice to see it get a rest!

This field has not been cover cropped in a long time. It’s been too important. Now that we have some more ground, it’s nice to see it get a rest!

These beans are suffering from cucumber beetle damage.

These beans are suffering from cucumber beetle damage.

The first planting of tomatoes is flowering. Planting through plastic helps push it along. It's already been staked and tied.

The first planting of tomatoes is flowering. Planting through plastic helps push it along. It’s already been staked and tied.

So glad to see two beds of Lacinato kale next to one of Red Russian. The RR yields more, but we can't keep up with demand for the Lacinato.

So glad to see two beds of Lacinato kale next to one of Red Russian. The RR yields more, but we can’t keep up with demand for the Lacinato.

A bed of Asian greens for the salad mix.

A bed of Asian greens for the salad mix.

Finally we have fruit on the raspberries, weeks later than in past years.

Finally we have fruit on the raspberries, weeks later than in past years.

The first planting of peppers is looking good. The shishitos and padrons are always the first to set fruit.

The first planting of peppers is looking good. The shishitos and padrons are always the first to set fruit.


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!


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