Tag Archives: remay covers

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.

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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!


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 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!


Preparing for the Heat

It is supposed to be around 100 degrees today, a bit cooler tomorrow, not a heat wave but quite warm. The crew is busy with the end-of-week tasks, staying hydrated and covered from the sun. They will work just until noon today.

Pulling row covers over the basil to protect from the voracious cucumber beetles.

Once the covers are pulled over the hoops, large metal clips secure the material.

New artichoke plants were put in the ground yesterday. They need a good soak today.

The first three rows were planted a week ago. The others more than a month ago. The staked tomatoes are getting their first “tying-up” right now.


Dry Winter Farming

The weather determines so much on the farm. This year has been dry so far and Paul has taken every opportunity to keep planting and working the ground. Irrigation has been running during the day to keep the new beds of lettuce and leeks, peas, broccoli raabe, mizuna, arugula, spinach, carrots and turnips from drying out. We know these are crops that could rot, given a couple weeks of rain which is not uncommon here in January and February. But it’s also possible we will be flush with fresh, early spring bounty when we are most often quite thin, stretching to find product to sell. It’s worth the risk.


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