While I'm not a huge fan of plasticulture and growing plants indoors, with all the crazy weather we've been having, it seems like good insurance to have at least some of our production under wraps.
A group of friends joined us on Sunday morning to hang the plastic on the new high tunnels and have brunch. Just as we finished wrapping the first house, the wind began to pick up. When we stood up the first end wall on the second house, a gust flattened the plastic against the frame. After wrestling the 20'x17' sail back to the ground, I called it a day. But after a quick group conference, we decided to make a go for it. With a little luck, some fast teamwork, and a few shoulder-wrenching tugs when the breezes billowed, we secured enough of the wiggle wire to hold it all in place. (A side note: wiggle wire is so cool -- looks just as its name suggests. Snap it into its channel and it holds the plastic firmly anchored to the house frame.)
Whew. It was a busy morning. Time for stacks of oat pancakes, sprinkled with Tree Gate Farm blueberries, plus our super tasty bacon and eggs. Mmmm.
Here's the new view from the back door of the farmhouse. Soon, this house will be planted to ginger, lemongrass, licorice, cucumbers, and a variety of herbs. The one to its west will house the nightshades: four varieties of peppers, six kinds of tomatoes, and eggplants with companion plants including basil, calendula, lettuce, and spinach.
Today we worked on finishing the wooden doors and since mom brought more rhubarb plants from their house, we tilled another row and got the babies in the ground.
Last year at this time, we had running water flowing across the center of the field and we were fretting about when the ground would be dry enough to plow. This year with the warm winter and minimal snow/rain, we started plowing in late January. The only reason we haven't finished tilling in all of the cover crops is that the vegetables slated for the beds currently planted to winter rye won't withstand the frost almost certain to fall some night between now and the typical start of the field growing season in late April. At least the forecast is no longer calling for 90-degree temperatures later this week and we've been making good use of the mild weather to wrap up all sorts of projects. Ten days ago, it was snowing. Today we were slathering ourselves with sunscreen, donning our straw hats, and chugging water to guard against heat stroke. Good-bye winter, hello mid-summer! We hear next week, it will be spring.