at least one warm place on the farm now!

The first week of April didn't earn a blog post from here: first, it snowed and then became very cold, and my interest in writing about the cold weather is awfully diminished. There were also some trips to Minneapolis for a training, a meeting, and supply acquisition, and combined with the busy-ness associated with finally getting the greenhouse to function, I've neglected computer and phone-based activities, which admittedly is nice. 

Here is this morning's crop field photo, along with a shot of the future pasture/orchard. It features more snow and more of the color gray than the last one, which was from 3/28!

As you can surmise after a quick glance, there is no field work occurring these days, and considering the wetness and low soil temperatures, it is safe to say the first outdoor planting will happen later than planned.

On the other hand, we are enjoying the homemade greenhouse, which won't have heat until next season (creative/industrious heating ideas are very welcome!) but which is otherwise keeping seedlings super healthy. To deal with incredibly low temperatures (single digits overnight during the first week of April), we set up a hilarious but functional heated sleeping chamber for plants, which is kept warm by a single space heater on its lowest setting:

 the heated chamber during the day

the heated chamber during the day

Thanks to Doreene and Norm for the 6' by 33" glass panels! We placed them about half a foot in the soil, sealed cracks with tape, and cover it at night when the heat is on. Space is limited and it is only a first-year solution, but it works beautifully. 

The greenhouse itself is still not completely finished, mostly because I designed it myself (problems/oversights to work out) and largely constructed it myself (I'm not the fastest). Once insulation goes up against the barn wall, today, I will be monitoring it closely so as to be able to have a sense of the expected temperature given the weather forecast overnight. It STILL will not be done then, as we have not been able to install baseboards along the front because the ground is STILL frozen. I will also determine the cost per square foot of greenhouse space! 

 ignore the awful germination in the foreground

ignore the awful germination in the foreground

That's the story out here. Have a good week!

-pppp