Today we did some clean-up around the washing area and continued digging holes for the new greenhouse. I helped set-up another round of irrigation for the last section of cover crop that Steve planted last week. Over the weekend almost half of the field got plowed under. It’s starting to actually look like we’re closing things down now. After the morning work, Kate and I made the almost three hour drive up to Mt. Vernon, WA for a farm tour of Viva Farms and a “young farmers mixer”. It was a good time and I had a chance to make new connections and catch up with some people from other farms we’ve worked with. The mixer is a way for young aspiring farmers to come together, talk and share ideas. There was a good food, including a pig roast, and a lot of great people doing great things. Viva Farms is a cool incubator project just north of Mt. Vernon (http://www.vivafarms.org/). It helps new farmers get started with a piece of land and helps establish markets for the new farms.
We started getting the greenhouse poles in place this morning and washed lettuce for the co-op. It’s cool to learn the nuances of building a structure. One interesting thing was, we used some surveying equipment to make sure everything was positioned correctly and the string we set up to mark the perimeter was perfectly level all the way around. But one thing we did not take into consideration was the effect gravity would have on the string (even though we got it pretty tight) towards the middle of the greenhouse. So if you look down the line where we set the posts, it gradually sinks lower as it gets to the middle.
I went on the delivery today and picked-up some things in town, which took up most of the day. When I got back they had just finished pouring the cement into the holes to hold the posts in place. Then we harvested the lettuce for tomorrow’s market.
Today Steve and Cecelia went to the market and we had a light day of piecing together a little more of the greenhouse and doing some touch up painting on the old house. Before they left, we had to harvest a few more things. I helped get chard and arugula and then went to the tomato house and got a few trays of tomatoes.
Today we did a lot of infrastructure/non-farming related jobs. Those jobs included finishing painting parts of the old house I’m staying in and the old tank room. Then we put up all of the bows and supports for the new greenhouse. We got those jobs done just in time for the rains to return to the Pacific Northwest. After we finished those things, we got garlic seed ready for planting and filled the pumpkin wagon for the Saturday market. For garlic you just break open the head that holds all of the cloves and then you plant each clove.
Today we did all of the harvesting for tomorrow, which is becoming less and less. The field is slowly turning from green to brown and now we’re waiting for the cover crop to sprout. I harvested the chard, arugula, and mizuna. Then I helped everyone else with carrots and leeks. The last harvest item was lettuce and then we got to plant the garlic we prepped yesterday. I’ll get pictures of this soon. It was the last thing of the day and I didn’t have a camera with me. Everything else we’re taking to markets are crops that keep well, like potatoes, beets and turnips, which we’ve already taken out of the field.
Since the internship here is over in two short weeks, I’m on my job hunt. I’ve gotten some great leads in the Seattle area and today I visited an urban farm called Marra Farm in South Park, Seattle. It’s a great four acre urban farm that is working hard for its community. I spent four hours helping plant cover crop and meeting some great people. I’m hoping to move up to Seattle and get more involved with the communities and work on developing urban farming in the city.