Peregrine Farm News Vol. 16 #8, 3/21/19 First Day of Spring

What’s been going on! 

Trellis week!  Over the years we have become semi-famous for our different systems to hold plants up for better utilization of space, more and cleaner fruit or long straight flower stems.  I have even done workshops at farming conferences on the subject.  For many horticultural crops it is a critical part of the production system but it also has labor and material costs that need to be scrutinized to be worth the effort.  Trellises need to be both fast to put up and fast to take down, including all the plant material that has grown up through the structure.

Some small tools are ubiquitous on all small farms- rakes and hoes, seed flats, hoses, 5 gallon buckets.  I used to say that 5 gallon buckets were the backbone of market gardens but for us it is the lowly metal T-post which is designed for livestock fencing but we have adopted for fast and sturdy plant support.  We have used them for blackberry and raspberry trellises, for tomatoes, peppers, peas, cucumbers, sunflowers, celosia and all manner of other cut flowers and yes we have even built deer fence with them.  We now have hundreds of them in 5, 6 and 8 foot lengths.

All of our trellises start with the driving of the posts into the soil about a foot deep and then various cross arms, wires, netting or fencing is hung off or attached to the posts.  In past years we would, annually, put in at least 600 posts and then pull them back out at the end of the season.  That was a lot of work but we would have 2-3 people working on it and it happened throughout the season.  Another sign of the more manageable Peregrine Farm is that we pounded essentially all of the posts for the year this week and it was less than 80 and there are only two more trellises to come with 16 additional posts.  Checking off those big tasks one by one.

Pictures of the Week

 P1040990One of the tomato tunnels ready to go

P1050001 Nearly 2 inches of rain last night and the creek is raging

What’s going to be at Market?

Lots of beautiful Ranunculus in red, yellow and orange.  Mountains of Anemones- brilliant colored crepe paper like blooms!

New this week nice heads of Escarole for soups, salads or wilted greens.  Many more sweet and tender Japanese Salad Turnips.  Sweet and crispy Radishes.  Plenty of green Little Gem Lettuce.

As a reminder if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.  Just so you know, sometimes not everything listed will be at the Wednesday market.

Hope to see you all at the market!

Alex and Betsy

If you know folks who you think would be interested in news of the farm then please feel free to forward this to them and encourage them to sign up at the website.

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