Working around steel

Bed preparation and hoophouse steel

Exactly where it was delivered last fall, the steel for the new hoophouse is kinda in the way, so we’re working around it (it doesn’t look like much in the pic, but it will expand into 30’x108’x16’H of plastic-covered year-round field protection). Beds of brassica greens are already in and protected by row cover from flea beetle attack. Lisa preps beds for more. Spring direct seeding proceeds…

More lunch salad


[From 10-Jun-2013] Yet another fresh farm lunch, from a long line I call the Endless Salad: harvested moments ago spinach, arugula, lettuces, topped with raw seeds and nuts, and an olive oil/balsamic vinegar dressing. Quick, simple, super tasty and energizing, all around amazing. Ashley does the honors…

Enter the Riot Garden


[From 17-Jun-2013] Tried this a couple of times before, to varying degrees of success, a small garden within the market garden, a kinda test/demo back yard-sized plot. One year, it was an elaborate set-up we called Home Garden, masterminded by Shannon: after a great start, I think it eventually went to the weeds, being lower on the weeding list than many other things… This year, it’s a simple 10’x20′ rectangle, being measured, squared and staked out for tilling by Ashley. This version is called the Riot Garden because the plan is no plan, just throw in odds and ends of leftover seedlings and seeds, and edit as we go…what could be easier, right?!

Salad box planning


Rise of the Salad Box: First meeting, with Rochelle and artist Shannon, on design details for our salad box project. Yes, it’s simple coolers, to be converted into standalone salad dispensers, with an honor system cash box and helpful signage built in, and cool graphics on the outside. The Plan: fresh, same-day-harvested salad and cooking greens, EVERYWHERE! We’ll see how it goes.

Working on water


At work on water: Rochelle changes an shutoff valve—a tap!—to the 1″ header pipe that runs from the well through the field. Not exactly a big pipe by irrigation standards, OK for our low volume use. You could call it a hybrid setup, a mix of commercial and home garden gear, with a healthy amount of manual labor thrown in to make it all go (dragging around hoses to where they’re needed and the like, hand watering from 55-gal barrels when necessary). Full drip irrigation has been on the to-do list for years, all the gear has been here, but I’ve never quite got round to it, which sounds odd, I’m sure, but we’ve done well relying on rain, and working with minimal gear when the rains don’t come. Kinda…satisfying! :)

Tape time!


Tape time again, measuring out this year’s market garden. I’ve come up with various schemes to do away with this step as an annual thing, but end up wanting to move things around, or accidentally tilling under a critical stake or two left from the year before. The method is pretty primitive:  walk around with a 200′ reel tape measure, trying to keep things square (the 3-4-5 trick!), staking an outline that can be used later to easily line up smaller sections as needed. That’s Rochelle at the other end, doing this two-person is the preferred way to go. The eventual result: a new garden map