Planting, planting and more planting
I figured I was long over due in giving an update on the Big Freeze of a week or so ago. The good news is that plants can be surprisingly resilient! We had some burned cabbage leaves in the greenhouse, loss of some of our overwintered carrots (that haven't been doing so hot anyway) and a planting of just-coming-up carrots and beets that seem to have suffered the worst, but all the whole all is well. The entire farm didn't up and die, so I am happy.
What have we been up to in the past week? We planted out 600 row feet of onions - that's about 1800 plants - 60 pounds of potatoes, 200 broccoli plants, 75 cabbages, 150 buttercrunch lettuces, 200 da cheong chae (bok choi/tat soi cross), 150 red russian kale, 150 Georgia southern collards, and 150 rhubarb chard. It's been slow going as all the bed preparation has been done by hand since the field is too wet for the tractor.
Randy is taking advantage of the wet weather to do a major spring tune up on Rosie (the tractor) - changing oil, cleaning and changing filters, checking spark plugs, cleaning fuel lines, and a host of other things that I don't pretend to understand.
It might still be winter in the field, but it's time to gear up for summer in the greenhouse. Yesterday we seeded peppers and eggplant in the greenhouse - they prefer temperatures over 80 degrees to germinate, so they have their own little hothouse inside the greenhouse to keep them warmer than the cool weather loving cabbage and broccoli still growing in there. We seeded six varieties of eggplant - in colors ranging from white to almost black to striped in round, teardrop, and long thin sizes, four sweet peppers, and six different hot peppers. Hopefully it'll stay warm enough in there for them to pop up and start growing!
We are also anxiously awaiting the arrival of our chicks!! We finished builing the brooder out of a cattle supliment feeder that was sitting out in the field. We cleaned it out and cut out doors for access and screened windows for air circulation, and have outfitted it with pine shaving, two heat lamps and food and water dispensers. At night it glows a curious orange and gives the shed the appearance of being visited by extra-terrestrials.
Our 80 chicks (35 layers of assorted varieties, 20 cornish-rock broilers, 5 guineas, and 20 layers we are brooding for a friend) should be here by the end of the week. I am beside myself with nerves!