Last weekend, I happened to be at the farm alone, getting up during the night to sweep snow off of the greenhouse, double and triple checking to make sure all seedlings were in a safe/sufficiently warm space, and wrapping myself in blankets inside. This weekend, we assembled and started up the grill, and I've been wearing sandals and sowing seeds in the greenhouse, barefoot. Some change.
The garlic has not poked through the straw yet, but it is making good progress. There is rye and some clover planted in this area, which is somewhat unfortunate because both plants are vigorous and survive the winter and we intend to plant early crops here. The soil remains too wet to work, but especially considering that a week ago the area was covered with 8 inches of snow, no one here is complaining!
I celebrated this warmth with a ritualistic restoration of power to the farm well, which for a moment allowed respite from lugging buckets of water to the greenhouse from the house. It didn't take long, though, to realize there were some problems, and I ended up digging a wonderful hole:
The ultimate test of spring: the ability to dig a 6-foot deep hole by hand! I am attempting to inspect - and hopefully replace without further complications - the frost-free valve that rises to the small barn (behind me), since water is leaking from the base. The hole is due to be widened the moment I finish this blog post, so perhaps I'll write 5, 6, 10 more paragraphs...
Last night, the greenhouse did not require any supplemental heat, with an outdoor low temperature of 39 degrees, which was momentous! We are working on the truly heat-loving crops now, having seeded summer squashes, melons, and okra over the past 2 weeks. Corn and cucumbers will be in the greenhouse very soon.
Yesterday was potting up day for our tiny batch of peppers (lots of losses due to damping off, because of the conditions they were in and how they were planted). We'll still have plenty for market, and are backing them up with a slightly later sowing. A favorite of Nicholas and I is the poblano, currently in the form of very tiny seedlings that were just potted up:
The poblano variety we are trying this season is called Ancho, from High Mowing Organic Seeds. It is an open pollinated variety, of course, and we promise a review once the plants mature and once we can chop, slice, roast, grill, bake, and do all the other delicious things with poblanos this summer and fall.
Thanks for reading and have a good week!