Monday, April 23, 2012

Last week/this week and silver linings

Last week we were running around in shorts and planting out a variety of tomatoes in the high tunnels:

And this morning we awoke to three inches of very heavy snow:

Sorry for the poor-quality photo. With a dead digital camera battery, the best I can offer is a lousy webcam shot from my netbook...

The fruit trees are taking another hit from the heavy, wet snow and near-freezing air temps, but the blanket of snow on the ground is insulating the leaks, potatoes, fava beans, and lo-growing perennials -- including rhubarb and horseradish. Meanwhile, inside the new high tunnels and the smaller half-tunnel we've been using for a few years, the air temperatures are hovering around 40 degrees. Since we cover all of the seedlings with plastic or up to several layers of row cover (a lightweight, woven fabric) draped over frames spanning each planted row, our annuals shouldn't have any problems. They might slow down for a few days till the sun and temps come back...but we haven't yet started going to market at Felicia's Atomic Lounge or the Trumansburg Farmer's Market

With all of the seed trays and lugs full of potted plants, it's a tight squeeze moving around in the half tunnel (15'x20') tucked up against the south wall of the shop (the little red barn visible from the road). We've definitely expanded enough that if we continue at this rate, we're going to have to develop more efficient potting and seed-starting systems.

To help us figure out what we'll need, we've visited several of our friends' farms and they've given us great ideas about how to lay things out and what equipment works for them. Mom has gotten into the swing by volunteering at Red Knickers' Herbs and seeing how they produce thousands of incredibly healthy plants a year out of their house and a small greenhouse. We stopped down and visited with them briefly over the weekend and thanked them for all the information they've been sharing via her reports. They offered us pots, catalogs, and tons of great tips on how they make a living as a small nursery without all of the chemicals and less of the long shipping involved in the masses of plants found at big box stores. It was really great meeting them and here at TGF we've had some great followup conversations about what our greenhouse might look like someday. NOTE: IF you ever want to watch my head spin, ask how late blight obliterated most of our county's tomato and potato plants in 2009 due to the disease vectoring around the country. If you're interested in learning more, Sharon wrote a really great article about the epidemic and the issues of disease spread.

But really, back to the silver linings. The white snow is beautiful and I'll get some much needed work done on the tractors while the field is too wet to work, plus run some overdue errands to Agway and NAPA, and maybe even stop in and see our friends at the Piggery!

No comments:

Post a Comment