Monday, 13 April 2015

Spring on the Farm

Spring is a magical season on the farm. The land starts to wake from its winter slumber, birds return to sing their songs, the garlic starts growing, the greenhouse becomes a hub of activity. The promise and potential of a new season is intoxicating! Filling us lazy, winter rested farmers with a burst of energy. Time to get to work :)

We've enjoyed utilizing our greenhouse this spring. As last year, we were without a greenhouse at this time (having not completed the structure until mid May). The propagation tables, where we germinate our seeds, are already overflowing with early season transplants; cabbages, kales, kohlrabi, broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, salad mix, romaine, onions, shallots and leeks, (to name a few!). And the bed in the greenhouse is looking fuller and fuller every day. We've seeded spinach, salad mix, carrots and other greens for early season sales. (YAY, carrots are on the way!).

We've been trying out our new Soil Blocking equipment, and so far we're impressed! Soil Blockers compress soil into dense blocks which are then seeded just like you would cell trays. With this system it's important to mix your own soil to get the consistency & moisture content just right. Once the blocks have been compressed, they are tough little buggers. Holding their shape nicely, even after many waterings. Keeping them moist has proven to be easy as well. We lay the soil blocks in 10x20 trays with no holes, in order to hold the excess water in the bottom of the tray. The block will then take up the excess water throughout the day as needed. Easy Peasy!

We're excited to see the garlic growing so nicely! With over 14 different varieties of garlic on our farm it's a gorgeous array of colours, heights, thicknesses and growing habits. The mid season vegetable beds have all been seeded with green manures, in anticipation of transplants starting next month. We're also ploughing up some new fields this spring. Which will get cover cropped several times this season, and next, in preparation for garlic planting fall of next year.

Also, we've hired our first ever full-time farm worker. And boy are we impressed! Nicole has several years experience working on farms in the Central Okanagan, and is an aspiring young agrarian who wants to start her own farm in the next couple of years. She has been a huge asset to us already. Its amazing what you can accomplish on the farm with an extra set of competent hands :) Welcome Nicole!

More updates to come so stay tuned!

Welcome Nicole! She's potting up some baby pepper plants with our new, easy to use Soil Blocker System.

A sea of Onion, Leek & Shallot transplants!
The prop tables are bursting with baby plants :)
With the heavy snows this winter, and all the spring wind we've been getting, there are a lot of wind fallen trees around the property. Which we then gather up, and chip, to use as a soil amendment in our future orchard site.
Tilling, seeding, & row cover. And so the dance begins :)

The garlic is looking lovely this spring!
The greens, salad mix and carrots in the Greenhouse are coming along nicely :)
Shauna making soil blocks. It's a bit of a technique, but once you get it it's easy :)
Ploughing up several new fields this spring!
The main garlic field looking gorgeous!
Yay! The fancy new farm sign is up :)
Nicole rocking the walk behind tiller, tilling the paths between the garlic beds
Garlic Mulch! Sweet, fluffy, composted horse manure :)

No comments:

Post a Comment