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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Gearing Up

It's been raining on and off all day. We have gotten almost a whole cm according to our new rain gauge. But the rain has made the garden beds too wet to work in so we have not been doing much in the way of farming today. Won't do much tomorrow either because we made plans to go visit Eugene's mom in Yellow Springs and also there will be a total eclipse of the sun over north Africa, parts of southern Europe and the Middle East. When we used the biodynamic planting calendar, The Stella Natura, we noticed that all days that have any kind of lunar or solar eclipse anywhere over the planet were bad days to transplant plants or harvest things but wonderful days to kill weeds and till the soil. I once hoed a bed of shallots at the same time a solar eclipse was happening and no weeds grew in that bed for 8 weeks! It was as if I has used some sort of strong, chemical herbicide. It was truly amazing.

Lettuce seedlings in a cold frame getting hardened off before transplanting. The green is Simpson Elite, than Rouge D'hiver, than Marvel of Four Seasons and finally in the right corner lollo rosa. These were transplanted yesterday evening

Despite things being a bit quiet around here today we have been quite busy the past 5 days (or when ever it was I posted here last). yesterday Eugene got a bunch of beds tilled and ready for seeds and transplants and we spend a lovely evening sowing seeds (parsnips, spinach and radishes), transplanting 170 lettuce plants and than putting row covers over everything. We finished about the same time it was too dark to see. Eugene went out this morning to check on our work and said the row cover and hoops over the lettuces needed some adjusting. It is hard to put together things you cannot see.

Along with putting seeds and transplants into the ground I have been making soil blocks just about daily. I am either making small blocks to start smaller seeds or large blocks to put the sprouted seeds into. Right now we have a full compliment of light tables. There are tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbages, kale, broccoli, zucchinis, celery, sage, parsley and 4 flats of lettuce about 10 days away from being ready to go in the ground.

Since April is almost here it is time for a lot of summer crops to be started inside. By Tax day I should have peppers, eggplant, the main crop of tomatoes, more zucchini, more cucumbers, more broccoli, more cabbage, more lettuce (probably 2 or 3 more plantings). Before tax day we should have gotten several thousand onion sets in the ground and before the end of April we will do likewise with onion seedlings we started from seed. Onions started from seed yield a lot better quality than those started from sets but we had a lot of set sized onions (that means very small) from last year of types we could not find seed for this year.

This past Saturday we had a load of Fresh Aire Farm compost delivered. We like to make our own compost for a variety of reasons, a big one being it is a lot cheaper than buying the stuff and getting it delivered. But because we have moved and are starting a new farm we are really short on compost. I think we have about 2 or 3 cubic yards ready to use and need about 6 to 8 cubic yards for the beds and making soil mix. But we are lucky in that we are close to one of the finest compost makers in the USA in Dan Young. And Dan brought us 5 yards of some gorgeous compost Saturday morning and dumped it by the hoophouse that will be getting cukes and zukes in about a week. The stuff is nice but it was not cheap at $140 for 5yds plus another $50 to deliver (and that delivery charge has likely gone up in the past few days with the rise in petroleum based fuels). But I think it was money well spent.

It is now nearing dinner time. So far I have made a cole slaw (or cabbage salad as my grandmother Ada called it) and a spice cake for supper. I believe Nathan's kosher hot dogs will go with the above. Topped with home made pickle relish and red onions-Yum.


maria said...

Thanks Lucy for posting pictures
of your farm.I enjoyed my visit.'

Lucy said...

Thanks for stopping by. I am glad you had a good time :-D

Chandira said...

love your shallots story, being a (very) amateaur astrologer! :-)

Lucy said...

Chandira, have you ever use the biodynamic planting Calander "The Stella Natura"? It uses A LOT of astrology

Nightwing Hugh and Connie said...

You are lucky. Compost is $95 a yard here, and $80 for delivery