BUSY, Busy, busy Time of YEAR!

This is a report on The Farm…It is here!  The snow has melted and we can see the Garden, and it is HERE!  The garden is getting cleaned up in preparation for the beds to be put down in May.  (Plastic mulch, drip line, new fencing are all being ordered this week…)

The High Tunnels are both planted with baby plants popping their little heads out of the warm dirt…Swiss chard, radishes, spinach, all of which were planted in mid-March.  The Farmer thought he saw the tip tops of some of the Snap Peas, poking out of the bed, but it’s a little early to be certain.

The Greenhouse is half full of transplants:  Happy Rich Broccolini, Asian Delight Bok Choi, and Barese Swiss Chard, all of which will be planted in the high tunnels in the next two weeks.  Also in the greenhouse are Celery and Celeriac…our new starts and some of those remaining from the heating pad bake-off that I wrote about earlier!  Also…ALL the early broccoli, early cabbages, and early white cauliflower to go into the North Garden in May.

In the nursery are all kinds of pepper plants and our eggplants, and a second planting of the Happy Rich for the garden.  We are trying several new hot peppers this year:  a nice hot chili pepper called Red Flame, and a guajillo (El Eden) used for making mole.  We’ll have more of the Poblano’s, Pueblo Roasting Peppers, Hungarian Hot Wax, and 3 varieties of Jalapeno’s.  We couldn’t resist planting a shorter day Habanero and some of those HOT purple Aurora’s.  Of course, lots of sweet peppers that go into the Shares have been started:  Yellow and Orange and Green Bells, Antohi Romanian Frying peppers, Shishito’s, and more of the multicolored Snack Peppers.

Last crops to be started for the May plantings are the tomatoes…Esterina Yellow Cherries, Heirloom Artisan Cherries, Grape, 4 kinds Heirloom Beefy Tomatoes, Celebrity and Polbig slicers/canners, and several varieties of saladette and Roma’s!  We have a new one called Damsel…can’t remember what was so great about it except that it hales from a Montana breeder.

Then after all the outdoor plants are planted in the garden, we follow in mid-May starting the fall Brassica’s:  Imperial Broccoli, Storage Cabbages, Romanesco, and 3 colors of Cauliflower with exciting names like Vitaverde, Cheddar, and Graffiti…wonder what each color is?  (Green, Cheddar Cheese yellow, and Purple!) 

All told we start 12,657 plants from mid-March until mid-May, most to be set out in the garden from May 15th to July 3rd.  That’s a lot of work, but worth it to have such great food for our members and to sell up north, and in our surrounding communities!  COME, Come, come GROW with us!  (Well…let us ‘grow’ for you, and you come ‘grow’ with the size of the CSA! LOL)

Which leads to the next thing:  The CSA is open and we are seeing some early signers–happy to report we paid for the bulk of the seed with the money from the March members. But, we are just getting started!  This month we will be hit with the bills for the potting soil, inserts, and other planting supplies, as well as the monthly electricity and gas bills. The month of May we anticipate the bills for the plastic mulch, drip tape, irrigation supplies, some new fencing, and fertilizer and input soil additives.  June usually wraps up the garden input costs, and handles some of the labor costs as our helpers come and join us May 6th!  (The remainder of the season is paid by the wholesale sales and bulk sales for the canner’s.)  The garden is not that far away–

The deadline for the Early Bird Voucher is May 5th.  Vouchers are worth $20 for the Weekly Share, $10 for the Leap-Frog, and $5 for the Monthly Share.  The best time to sign up is NOW and get the voucher to use at The Store which starts with the first Pick Up, July 10th…fruits, herbs, veggies, and mushrooms are stocked in The Store.  Shares should be ready from The Garden.   (The first Thursday is July 3rd, so we’ll wait for folks to return from their Holiday and give the garden that extra week to load up!)   Diamond S Delights will be there, too, selling their raw milk products every Thursday. 

Sign up ON-LINE, pay by Check, Cash, or use the PayPal link with your debit or credit card. It’s Not that far away–delay no more!

Remember the sooner you sign up, the greater it helps us in getting prepared for the year, both financially and also in membership size.  Sign up to save a spot, and pay in full before May 5th for the Early Bird Voucher.  All memberships are paid before the start of the garden in July.  (See the installment terms.)  Here’s to you and your health, and to the healthy GARDEN that sustains healthy communities! 

                                                                   The Farmer’s Wife


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