I hope everyone had a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. The weather was beautiful for boating, camping, grilling out etc. It was not good if you were a 5 week old tomato transplant patiently waiting in the greenhouse to be transplanted. The heat and the sun (where the shade cloth couldn’t reach) scorched our little plants. After some serious TLC we think they will make it but it was quite a shock considering they were so beautiful two days ago.
We also had an irrigation problem first thing this morning. It definitely seemed like a Monday out at the farm today. I can’t stress how important it is to know your equipment and how to fix it. I asked Kevin to turn the water on so after we planted a bed we could simply turn on our connectors from the flatline to the drip tape. After Kevin didn’t come back for a while I looked up and saw him frantically waving for help. Once I got over to him I found a soaked Kevin holding the t-handle (which had broken off in the riser) trying to keep a geyser of water from shooting out the top. I was able to locate Zack Grant (SSF farmer) who helped us shut the water off and replace the pin which had broken away from the handle. These risers contain a tremendous amount of pressure so if not handled properly can be quite dangerous. Luckily everyone was in a good mood from the weekend and poor Kevin had a change of clothes.
We started hardening off (getting them adjusted from the protected environment of the greenhouse to the farm) our basil and kale transplants at the end of last week and they were ready to go into the ground today. After the basil and kale were moved to the field we then put our peppers outside in the shade house. The tomatoes will be last due to lack of space. This may seem late to most farmers but our market doesn’t start until the end of August when the students come back. We finished most of the planting of the basil and kale today and will hopefully get the final trays in the ground before the rain hits tomorrow morning. All the transplants are scheduled to be in the ground by the end of this week so we can focus on trellising next week. This is a daunting task considering we have close to 1,000 more to plant. After sliding down multiple 185 ft beds on our rear ends , we had a good laugh at who had the most trouble walking at the end of the day.
Our good friend Jeremy delivered giant bags of miscanthus (mulch for the raised beds) at the end of the week last week and more again today. He also gave us a tractor to use to spread the mulch instead of carting it 22 times down each bed with a wheel barrel. For any of you who are new readers to this blog and did not follow last year, I LOVE DRIVING FARM EQUIPMENT! I reenacted the scene from the movie Footloose with Kevin singing across the plot “I need a hero……..”. It was pretty amazing until I got the tractor stuck and we had to call Jeremy to come pull us out. (There isn’t a picture of this because it was humiliating!) After Jeremy got us going again we were able to drive the tractor down each bed spreading the mulch and cutting our time in 1/2.