Peregrine Farm News Vol. 14 #4, 3/3/17

What’s been going on!

Well our gut instincts were correct, be wary of a warm spell in early spring!  The forecast for tonight is 23 degrees here at the farm, followed by 26 Saturday night.  Colder than we really want to see but most things should be fine especially with some floating row covers.  Betsy is a bit concerned about the amazing tunnel full of Ranunculus that are just now sending up thousands of stems.

A fairly normal late winter week with both indoor and outdoor work.  My annual visit with the accountant, so they can do the end of year taxes, is always a bit like going to the psychologist.  I leave feeling like I have done a thorough job in record keeping but unsure how it will all end up.  I know we are an anomaly to him but he is fascinated by our small business and how it all goes together, especially now with the Jennies transition and its effect on the business.

Planting goes on, as well as cultivation.  The big project right now is to finish up the removal of two huge trees we had to take down.  We had both a big hickory die and a monster red oak starting to die that we needed to drop before they did damage dropping limbs.  The oak is the biggest tree we have ever had to deal with, 36” at chest height.  We have taken care of all the brush and I am just about done cutting up the rest into firewood.  Hey at least we have enough firewood for two winters now!

Picture of the Week

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Beautiful tunnel of ranunculus just hitting stride

What’s going to be at the market? Continue reading

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Peregrine Farm News Vol. 12 #1, 2/13/15 A new year

What’s been going on!

They are baaack!!  Not like any kind of zombie apocalypse on Friday the 13th but the long winters nap is about over I guess.  We always feel that Groundhog Day is generally some kind of watershed date, after which the new season slowly begins to unfold.  Right now we are tending to agree with Punxsutawney Phil, more than his southern cousin Sir Walter Wally, that we are going to see six more weeks of winter.

The forecast for the coming week is really extreme, including the chance of snow next Tuesday on the heels of possible record breaking cold with high winds.  We are in batten down the hatches mode, covering and tightening every crop and structure we have.  We expect this kind of extended cold in December or January with crops that can generally take it but not mid-February when we usually do not see any more temperatures below 20 degrees, much less single digits (last night they had Monday morning at 9 degrees, they have since warmed it up to 14).

The greenhouse and coldframe is bulging with transplants waiting to get into the field.  We already waited a week to put out the first field lettuce to get past the last cold snap.  Sunday when it was 70 degrees we planted the first 1000+ lettuce, now we have it double covered as it really is not supposed to go below 20 degrees.  The place looks like a White Sale at Belks with so many crops covered with floating row covers.

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Lettuce covered in the foreground, more tender crops covered both inside and outside the little sliding tunnels

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The high winds make it especially difficult to keep covers on hoops over outdoor crops, Jennie resets the cinderblock weights for the billionth time

The real worry now is the anemone and ranunculus crops inside the sliding tunnels.  They look as good as they ever have but are also at very tender stages now that they are beginning to bloom.  So not only are they covered with row covers on hoops

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But for the first time ever we have run Christmas lights down the ranunculus beds, under the cover, to generate just a bit more heat right at the plant level.

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Every last trick in the book.  The result is there will be anemones for the Valentines Day market and it will be the warmest day of the coming week!

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What’s going to be at the market? Continue reading