This week we did what we refer to as breaking our spring inertia, by prepping some beds in the field and planting some seeds in the ground! Our first plantings are arugula, spicy greens, radishes, turnips, and cilantro/dill! Lots of transplants to go in next week, including onions and shallots. Because we had 3" of rain this week, the only way to get those beds prepped was by hand! Luckily, some of our semi-permanent raised beds were dry enough on top to wheel hoe (left bed is untouched, right is after wheel hoe):
Last week, I promised some news of piggies! We are picking up a nice litter of organic Tamworths this week, so we'll have pictures in next blog post. Here is pigmaster Nick working on a new mobile shelter (this particular one is for the ducks on summer range, but the piggies have something cool in store for them, too):
Lastly, we're still picking some nice greens but the learning curve for year-round greenhouse growing and pest management is steep for me. It's such a hospitable environment for say, aphids! We will have a very limited spinach supply this week, because of aphids. Now I've been encouraging a natural predator, the hover fly, one of which can eat 400 aphids. We've been leaving flowering mustards for them, and they love the nectar. And we've been releasing ladybugs, but we have a long way to go! Next year, we are going to grow parasitic wasps...
But nature amazes. Simply by providing habitat and not spraying insecticides, we attract all kinds of good bugs. These crane flies (I think that's what they are) were caught in the act on our arugula:
Ain't that a pretty sight? The arugula, too.
Have a great weekend and come see us at indoor markets, if you can!
Ben, family and crew