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Bucket loading

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[From 9-May-2012] Especially in spring, with constant seeding and transplanting, moving gear around the field is a bigger deal than it may seem. Forget stuff, even little things like a hose fitting or a seed plate or some twine, and you’re heading back the equivalent of a block or two or three to get it. A trailer of some sort is the ultimate for a 2-3 acre plot, but with decent packing skills, you can fit a lot into a tiny tractor bucket, too! This carefully balanced load includes everything needed for some direct seeding: the Planet Jr. and Earthway seeders (can’t forget the Earthway seed plates, they’re a perfect fit in that coffee can); seed, clipboard for notes, twine and stakes for row marking (all in that large flower pot); choice rocks for anchoring row cover (it’s never too early to protect brassicas from flea beetles!); and there’s the last of a 50lb bag of snap peas nestled in. It takes a practiced eye to fit everything you need so nothing falls out as you bump along—do it a few times and…easy peasy!

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Choosing straw!

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[From 13-Jun-2013] Mulching peppers with straw. So pretty! Plastic mulch is cheaper than straw, also, quicker to lay down and clean up, and generally more effective in suppressing weeds and retaining soil heat, but plastic is also less fun! Hahaha, those crazy business decisions. I’ve used plastic before, and like as not will again—in tiny farming, thinking small in 50′ and 100′ beds, flexibility comes easy. In any case, this year, we choose straw!

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Enter the Riot Garden

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[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?!

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Salad box planning

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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.

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Brrrr… Peppers under wraps

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Not the happiest campers after three days and nights of frost protection, peppers and eggplant have one day and two nights more under row cover, if the forecast is to be believed. But the 15-day forecast a week ago was for no more cold nights, so…who knows! We’ve had about a week of frost warning nights so far since the second week of May, which I don’t think I’ve seen before. Normally, the covers would come off during the day, but with everything else to do now, and the kinda elaborate weighting-down-with-rocks setup, it’s simpler to leave it in place till the end…

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Early lettuce heats up

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Couple hundred not-so-early early lettuce, toughing it out in the semi-sauna-like greenhouse, along with seedlings that should be out in the field soon. This year, we went from chilly late winter conditions to summer-ish heat, with absolutely no mild spring in between—one day to the next. Always exciting (never dull)!

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TFB & the Web

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