2016, March

Farm update – 3/20/2016

Exciting news: watch your inboxes, as some veggies are getting ready to harvest! It won’t be long before they’re posted here and ready for you to eat!

This weekend’s major tasks included transplanting lettuce, Swiss chard, and kale from a cold frame into the ground, and covering weather- and insect-sensitive crops with a floating row cover.

In case you’re unfamiliar with either, here’s the scoop:

Cold frames are mini-greenhouses. I built mine last year from two old windows from the ReStore ($5 each!) and a base assembled from pressure treated boards. It has room for about 200 seedlings, and they can be started in the cold frame many weeks before it’d be possible to plant the same seed in the ground. I do cover the whole thing with a blanket when nights get below 40, and prop the windows open on warm days to avoid cooking the tender plants.


Floating row covers are so lightweight that they “float” above plants. They have several functions, all of which I hope to utilize. First, they provide a few degrees of thermal protection on chilly nights, so I covered my tomatoes first to help them get through the next few days. The primary use, however, is as an insect barrier. They are touted as one of the best lines of defense against insects for organic gardening. Kale, turnips, cabbage, and Swiss chard all were covered in hopes of reducing the all-too-common insect damage typically associated with those crops. Because they keep insects out, they can be used to effectively eliminate cross-pollination between different varieties of the same crop. In doing so, it becomes possible to save seed for future seasons, and to know that the plants that grow from the seed will be true to variety.


I also have many thanks to give this week! Seed of two varieties of watermelon went into the ground early this week (thanks, Susan), including an orange-fleshed variety (thanks, Bobby), and I got to try out my new precision garden seeder (thanks, Roger).


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