Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Farm School Week Eleven

Farm School is really heatin' up.
It's still spring, but feels more like summer.
Fortunately, up on the hill, there is always a breeze.

No time to use this, we have work to do!

Almost ready for the pickin'.

A tray of leek starts is doing well under the shade.
Hard to imagine, but these long, slender seedlings,

grow into this healthy and copious harvest.

My favorite type of lettuce had recently bolted.
The Red Salad Bowl variety had done well 
up until temps starting scaling the 90's.

New seeds were planted in hopes that 
changing the growing location could allow for another crop.

Pots are filled with Lynn's soil mix.
A couple of taps on the bottom settles the soil just right.

We work assembly-line style,
filling all the pots before beginning the next step.
It's an efficient way to ensure tasks are uniformly completed.

A pre-cut plastic form is placed on top of the soil.
See the nail in the middle?
That helps to make certain of proper centering of transplants.
The form is removed and the dirt is extracted from around the nail with a trowel.
The plant is placed in the hole and checked again for center.

The plastic ring is placed back on top and two nails keep it secure.
We water each plant as it is placed in its new spot.

The current location will be under these covers.

Twenty percent shadecloth is folded over twice, 
giving 60% protection.
A plastic overlay is placed on top of the shadecloth.

This should keep the crops safe from sweltering sun, 
blustery wind and pounding rain.

About 30 pots fit under one of these structures.
I sure hope it does the trick.
I have been Jonesin' for some of this delicious lettuce bigtime.

Let's see what else is goin' on here at the farm.

The peppers looked like this just a week ago.

Now they're turning beautiful shades of crimson,

and getting sweeter every day.
Peppers are one of the few crops we can grow 
in our humid summer climate.

Faye & Lynn also grow banana peppers,
which have a mild flavor
(they get their name from their shape).

Kohlrabi is another crop that is tolerating the heat so far.

Merely weeks ago, the dill seed started sprouting.

Now it's filling the same pot to overflowing.
This plant reaches upwards of 6 feet.

Here's our haul for this week.  
It feels great to be able to feed my family
veggies that are not from GMO seed,
haven't been sprayed with pesticides,
and have flavor far superior 
to anything we could find at the grocery store.

So far, it's been hit and miss with my own gardening attempts,
but I'll keep working at it.
With everything I'm learning at Farm School,
I know it's just a matter of time 
until we are consistently harvesting goodies like these 
from our own backyard.