Plugging Right Back In

Hi everyone,

I'm back from vacation. I got to enjoy some unseasonably balmy weather out west, and I brought it back with me. You're welcome. I hope everyone has been enjoying the warm days like we have. It got so hot on Wednesday we were down to T-shirts and tank tops in the greenhouse.

Speaking of the greenhouse, it's coming right along. We started seeds in it just this week! There's still irrigation, tables for seedlings, general organization and storage to do, but we will get there. Below you can see Ben and a friend of ours working on setting up the overhead irrigation system. 

As well as starting seeds, we also started some rosemary and marjoram cuttings propagating in soil. We keep the mother plants in a small hoophouse (see below), where they are able to weather the winter fairly well. We do have to use several layers of row cover (the white cloth on the outside of the beds) to add several layers of protection, which translates into up to 10 degrees of additional heat retention. The rosemary is on the right and the marjoram is on the left. The marjoram is going on two years old for most plants, and most of the rosemary is actually three years old! In between the herbs are some onions that may or may not thrive. Some mice discovered them in the early winter... quite a few of them have recovered, but not all.

Besides marjoram and rosemary, we also propagate and sell sage, thyme, tarragon, spearmint, and peppermint seedlings. Because the marjoram and rosemary are so protected, it's possible to start propagating them now.

To propagate the herbs, we cut fresh, green stems, strip the leaves off, and slip them into well-watered plugs. It's key that they stay almost damp and out of direct sunlight until the plants recover from being cut and start to put out new roots. Usually that takes about 4 weeks or so. When the newly grown roots have just reached the bottom of the plug, we pop the plugs out and grow them on in 4 inch pots, which we have for sale at market in the late spring and early summer.

Speaking of market, we will see you at market this weekend!


Plugging Away

Ben has been holding down the fort this week, as I have been getting through and over a massive head cold. One of our employees also got the cold, so we really have been short-handed this week. Ben has been getting some stuff done around the barn - he and Nick have been modifying the wash station so it's easier to use - and he has done all the harvest and washing and packing. Three cheers for Ben!

I haven't been completely idle, though. Our goal was to get our seed order in this week before Ben goes on his vacation next week and I go on my vacation the week after he gets back. We have been cranking away, updating our spreadsheets with this years' dates, how much we want to grow of what, and which varieties we want to grow.

It's time-consuming, and makes my eyes swim a bit, but having these spreadsheets completed and the seed order in will set us up for a much easier season than if we were making these decisions every time we planted something! It also makes it a lot easier for us to delegate seeding tasks, for example, to our employees. Really, these spreadsheets keepthe farm running smoothly.

Ben will be at market tomorrow - stop by and wish him a fun vacation! And I will be at market Saturday.

See you then!