We had a break from the rain today and made good use of the sun and warmth. Our goal was to get the plastic back on the greenhouse I took apart last week and now with two more helpers we busted it out in one day (Pictures)! Here’s what it looked like before. Kate arrived on Sunday, Trevor on Friday and now a long time friend and worker of Steve’s, Marro, who helps out a few times a week in the summer is here. The house is full and the real work is kicking into high gear. We’re sure to plant another round of lettuce in the greenhouse this week and projects and more greenhouse upkeep are on the schedule.
Since we put off seeding this Monday we’re going to make up for it tomorrow when it starts raining again.
Today we seeded, onsied, and tilled more greenhouses. I did the onsieing in the morning and after lunch I started tilling. Once I tilled the ground I had to go around the whole thing with a hoe just like in the other greenhouse I tilled. The other guys came over at that point with another tiller and took over so I went back to the greenhouse and did more onsieing for the rest of the day.
It was a beautiful rainy day today and we were in the seeding house the whole time. Tomatoes and chard are getting way too big and spindly, so we spent all day potting them in 4” pots. We got a good system down with three people and almost finished every tray.
When we walked through the greenhouse in the morning I noticed a spot on the starting tables where water had started to pool up on the soil blocks. That means one of the misters spraying from above has a concentrated stream of water coming from it. In that case we take a piece of the mister off and clean it to get moss build-up or other things that might be clogging it up off. If that doesn’t work we replace that piece. If that doesn’t work I don’t know what the next step is yet. I’ll let you know when it happens.
This morning we finished filling up a greenhouse with lettuce transplants (Picture). We ended the morning by starting on the completion of the infamous collapsed greenhouse. Once the final supports were up we hung and tested the watering system to finish with that project. After it was all back together we harvested the remaining lettuce and greens that were in that greenhouse and plowed it under. Now we’ll let it sit for a few days and it will be ready for planting. We got a little taste of the bigger equipment we’ll soon be using in the fields too. We attached a larger tiller to a tractor and watched Steve till two of the greenhouses. Obviously it tills much faster than the little walk behind tillers we had been using but it’s not good at tilling under the cover crop. It’s tines run in the opposite direction from the walk behind tillers, which causes it to bunch up the greens instead of mulching and turning them under. It makes a really nice finished bed to plant in though.
It was a really productive day and the veggies keep going in the ground making it look more and more like a farm. We started the morning with a good workout hoeing the edges of three greenhouses and then started on finishing potting up the chard and tomatoes, which we finished just after lunch. Once we finished that we got a lesson in irrigation and getting water back into the pipes after the winter. Our water comes from a ground well on the property. The well house is in the middle of the field about three or four hundred yards from the farthest greenhouse. So there are several valves all the way from the well house to that farthest greenhouse. The valves were all left open during the winter, so after we turned on the pump water started coming out of each valve and we drove to them and closed them all along the way. A few problems came up with a broken pipe at the end of the line, but in the end we were able to start supplying the soon to be planted greenhouses with water. Those greenhouses were then direct seeded with radishes, arugula, cilantro, mizuna and coriander. We also transplanted chard and some other greens with the remaining space (Pictures).
If we keep getting these warmer days and enough sun we should be good to go to the first week of markets starting in May.
Hopefully I’ll have more pictures of the well and of other things we did this week soon. I haven’t had a chance to get the camera from Cecelia. All of the pictures I put up this week are from my phone. So check back sometime this week and there should be more good pictures.