Saturday, February 18, 2012
Yesterday the 2012 Growing season began at Fire Ring Farm with the initial seeding of 780 Leek seeds. The picture, in the greenhouse, shows the seeds all nestled in their 1 1/2" soil blocks in their growing medium trays, labeled and on heat mats set @75 degrees to keep the soil warm so germination can happen. I am also adding a 'Special Potent" to the soil mix which are tiny biologicals mixed in water. This will help the soil be more eco balanced and help the roots get the nutrition to the plant easier. Why start the seeds so early? Well, Winter Leeks take between 18-20 weeks to mature and be ready to eat. They are a cool season biennial . I am growing 2 varieties this year, " Bandit" which forms a very thick base with little bulbing, making cleaning easier and offering more weight per plant. It has deeply colored blue-green flags that stand upright, In order to get long white stalks they needed to be hilled up as they grow. The second variety is "Tandorna" which is a stock, medium length with large green shafts that size up well and are very uniform and grow well in the North East.
So what is next on the farm. Starting Celery and Celeriac root. That is next Monday. Yes, the moon will still be in Virgo which is optimum time for planting root crops. I am trying a new kind of Celery called "Golden Self Blanching" Celery. Introduced in 1886. Golden Self Blanching Celery produces thick, crisp, juicy, deeply ribbed, tasty celery without the strings or bitter flavor of some other celery. Reaches 18-23"s in height with ample water. Golden Self Blanching is a strong disease resistant variety that is obviously self blanching. Celery hearts are thick and crunchy. I am hoping this will be a tastier and wonderful improvement from the celery we have been grown in past years. The Celeriac Root is "Mars" and always is a welcome addition to the root vegetable mix in the fall.
We are working on ordering our first baby layer chicks, pruning the fruit trees and shrubs and planning a new Harvest Pavilion since the snow storm last October devastated the existing one.
I attended a NOFA Mass Soil workshop last Thursday Feb 9th and learned a lot more about timing of mineral applications and balancing the minerals in the soil. It was a good presentation by John Kemph. This Sunday I am going to White Gate Farm for the first part of a 2 series Nutrient Density Workshop refresher course put on by the Real Food Campaign. Then on Saturday March 3 is the CT NOFA Winter conference at Manchester College.
Thank you to my 2012 CSA Shareholders for joining this year and supporting our Organic Local Farm. We are here for you producing the best high quality produce we know how.