Monday, March 15, 2010

Before and After

Two weeks ago:


Everything in the potting shed has literally just been vomiting green everywhere it's fabulous.  Some of my arugula and lettuces are almost ready to plant, they just have to get a tiiiiiny bit bigger. 

In preparation for transplanting, and because I'd like to start direct seeding some radishes, chard and peas, AND because it was 70 and sunny, I spent pretty much the whole day weeding.  Which normally would be eh, but IT WAS SO SO SO NICE OUT OMG.  Like so nice that I'm pretty sure I'm a little bit sunburnt.  Ugh it was PERFECT.  The only problem was that it had been raining a lot the last week and the ground wasn't as dry as it needed to be for me to bring out the rototiller, so I was pretty much stuck just hand-weeding.  Which is fine, I prefer to hand-weed most of the time anyway, but considering there hasn't been any serious weeding done since like, I don't know, October?  Things are a little messy out there. 

Most of the raised beds in Right Field are like the one behind me in that picture, they were amended with compost back in October/November and mulched with newspaper and rice straw.  This is pretty effective at keeping weeds at bay, and makes spring planting a lot easier.  What I'm working on cleaning up though are the rows that had our root veg and over wintering stuff.  Almost all of which died or rotted in the ground.  Though after hearing from other farmers, and seeing the lackluster offerings at the early farmers market, that seemed to be a common complaint this winter.  We have leeks, scallions, a handful of turnips, collards, some slug eaten bok choi and maybe a dozen carrots.  Most of our celeriac and our fennel bit the dust, probably because of that one straight week of hard frost we had and our parsnips and rutabaga just never did much of anything.  So now comes the fun part, trying to rip it all out of the ground without taking all of that lovingly composted dirt with it.  I also need to clean up the walkways between the rows, and THAT is what I want the rototiller for.  The walkways are completely overrun with clover, chokeweed, and clumps of nut grass that are seriously approaching shrub status.  I tried taking a pitchfork to one today and lets just say that if I tried to clear them all that way we'd be harvesting pumpkins before they were all finished.

My tomatoes seem to be puttering along alright.  Some of them have literally just shot up and taken off:

While others....seem to be having some difficulties...

You can't really see it in the picture but there ARE some things growing there, they're just REALLY FUCKING TINY.  And not so healthy looking.  Upon close inspection it looks like some of them had been committing seed suicide, where in the seed jacket never fully comes off the germinated seed stunting it's growth and eventually killing it.  I'm kind of hoping that the super sprouted amazing tomatoes are just over achievers and that the other ones will catch up, but just in case I started germinating some back-up seeds indoors.  You know, the same way you did in third grade when you got to grow bean plants in science class.  Damp paper towels!

Michael thought the sign was hilarious.  But hey, it's REALLY easy to forget that something is up there (that's how I killed my kombucha.)  Especially something so flat!  So the sign was both a reminder to myself to water the damn thing and a reminder to everyone not to throw anything else up there. 

All in all today was an awesomely productive day.  I got to enjoy the weather, start some clean up, stare at my seed starts and try willing them to grow with my mind, and I even got some of the broccoli from out back blanched and vacu-sealed for the freezer.

Delicious!  Here's hoping the weather holds, the ground drys up a bit and later this week I can play with the rototiller!


  1. grow tomatoes, grow!

    since I have no concept of space in acres, how much are you growing on your half acre? are you going to be selling at a local farmers' market? are your roommates farming with you, or is it primarily your project? sorry to go all 20 questions on you, but I was just wondering!

  2. no problem, i don't mind. i should probably do a post on it because i don't think i've actually outlined what/how/why i'm doing this on here. basically i hope to have at least a 1/4 acre in production at all times. how much fits in a 1/4 acre? how ever much stuff i can cram in there. i plan to be selling at two farmer's markets down in Ashland. and i am the sole primary farmer, Lori still gardens a little bit but she's mostly growing some stuff for personal use that I just didn't want to deal with, like shelling peas, and Michael does his yearly cantaloupe patch but that's pretty much the extent of his foray into farming.