Spring on the Farm

Spring is here!

Spring has sprouted here on the farm and things are getting busy! Here is a little update about what’s new at Round Earth & the Turkey Hill CSA!

Raspberries & Blackberries Research

Round Earth was awarded Research grant for Raspberries & Blackberries!  This year we were successful in our grant submission, and we will be planting a large research and production plot of blackberries and raspberries on the farm this spring. You can read all about it at the special research project web page I’ve set up on the new Round Earth website – take a look at http://berries.roundearth.com. The berries are just going in this spring and they take a year to get established, so we don’t expect much of a crop until next year, but it is exciting to have this new crop going in. I’m also going to take advantage of the (new to be) deer fenced area and plant a small orchard with a variety of plums and pears that aren’t produced locally.

In the greenhouse

With the 1st onions growing strong, i’ve started planting the earliest lettuce, peppers and eggplant in the greenhouse; next comes perennial flowers & herbs, tomatoes and early brassicas: broccoli, chois, kale.

I’m doing a little work on the greenhouse this spring. I’m installing a new germination chamber I acquired from my neighbor who has moved on to a larger, commercial unit (thanks to Kim at Lost Mesa Flowers). A germination chamber is basically a big box inside the greenhouse  with a steam bucket on a thermostat, and trays for the seedling flats. With the greenhouse thermostat set at 50, I can heat this ‘chamber’ up to 80 degrees and (and 90 percent humidity) which means tomatoes germinate in less than a week. This should be much more efficient than my existing heat mats and I’m excited to see it working.

Sign up now!

If you are thinking about signing up for the CSA this summer, now is the time to commit! Please send in your registration form and deposit so we can get you on the list. If you can pay the full membership up front you get a 10% discount, but even just sending us the deposit money really helps our spring cash flow. Spring is a full of expenses – from seeds to gas for the greenhouse to new half size reusable CSA boxes (more on that later) – and CSA sign up deposits really help fund this part of the season. Our wholesale and retail sales don’t begin until June, so the only spring farm income comes from CSA sign ups. So thanks for sending in your deposits early as your commitment to the growing season and for contributing to our farms financial sustainability!

A great season ahead

I’m looking forward to a great season, my early plantings are already started and the hoop house is ready to go. it will be packed with heat loving crops this year, especially tomatoes! Please email or call if you have questions or requests for the upcoming season!

Sowing the Onions

I’m getting an early start on this year with a bunch of onions from seed. We didn’t have quite enough onions last year, and the fall crop never matured in time to be harvested, so I’m getting an earlier start and planting a lot more variety from seed. i’m still planting the same from-transplant bets of red and yellow sweet ontions, but i’m adding an early bed of mixed red & yellow storage onions, plus a bed of specialty onions like the oblong ‘red long of tropea’ and flattened mini yellow and purple onions. I’m also planting a patch of (seed grown) shallots this week which will be ready by fall, as well as chives and bunching onions which will be ready early this spring.

Dreaming of Spring

Summer plans in the middle of winter

Its cold, cold, cold these days and a steady stream of gardening/seed catalogues are arriving in the mail. Of course, its winter and farmers all over the northern hemisphere are dreaming and planning out the next season.

Help me decide what to plant next year!

I use a simple spreadsheet format to go through all of the crops we go each year and make a detailed plan about what to plant next year. The plan helps me figure out how much land to prepare, how many seeds I need, and how much to plant in the greenhouse. Now, I’ve created a simple way for anyone to help me decide what to grow. Just visit our 5 minute survey and vote for your favorite vegetables – would you prefer salad every week, or lots of garlic and fresh herbs, or just tomatoes all summer long? Tell my your dream for summer!