Peregrine Farm News Vol. 16 #12, 4/18/19

What’s been going on!

As the new Peregrine Farm plan unfolds it does seem a bit unusual that Betsy has only one more round of lettuce seeding to do in the greenhouse and there are only 5 more weeks of planting to do in the field but with our last market day slated to be June 29th then it all makes sense.  It doesn’t make it feel any less strange after having seeded or planted something almost every week for the last, at least, two decades.  Muscle memory is a powerful thing.

Despite the crazy rains we have had a busy week planting both indoors and out (basil, lettuce, sunflowers, zinnias) and cultivating to keep everything clean and growing well.  The tomatoes are moving along so well that we pruned and tied them up for the first time and soon will have to start training the cucumbers up their trellis too.  We have even started to clean up the now empty tunnel ends from the very earliest crops getting them ready for summer cover crops.

We are trying to keep our time in the field to only four hours a day and now that we are past the early crush of tunnel moving and tomato planting it does seem like we can maintain everything we need to with that pace.  As the temperatures rise it will be even more important as we will want to be out of the field by noon if not earlier.  It is a strange new world.

Picture of the Week

 P1050031It is all looking good on a beautiful spring day

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Peregrine Farm News Vol. 13 #3, 2/26/16

What’s been going on!

Another 2.4 inches of rain but no wind damage from the storms on Wednesday, we hope that all of you also escaped with no issues.  Typical erratic move into spring- warm, cold, windy, dead calm, sunny, cloudy.  Last year on this date we had 7” of snow, at least that is not happening this year!

It did dry out just enough last week for us to get caught up with planting on Sunday, just before the rains came back in.  5 beds of lettuce, 4 beds of flowers seeded, 3 beds of Sugar Snap Peas and multiple beds of other vegetables put us back on schedule.  This coming week is one of the biggest planting periods of the spring with many beds of vegetables and flowers that need to get into the ground.  Once again we will be racing to get done before the next chance of rain on Wednesday.

The other thing we are working on getting finished is a major reworking of the deer fence before there are too many tempting things for them to nibble on.  Our electric 3 wire fence has worked well for fifteen years or so but in the last few years they have begun to figure it out and particularly in the winter have had their way getting in to eat our lush cover crops.  So we are resetting the posts to support 8’ tall plastic netting behind the two electric wires.  We have tested this the last two years with great success so now we are trying to get all the way around the main planting areas but we are talking about nearly 4000 feet of fencing!

Just to add to the spring madness we also had a backhoe in last week to pull out hundreds of feet of row of perennial flowering shrubs that we no longer need and were beginning to grow up in undesirable plants.  We will need to finish the clean-up in the next few weeks before things really start to grow.

Picture of the Week

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A lot of brush burning in our future

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Peregrine Farm News Vol. 12 #3, 3/13/15, Like a phoenix!

What’s been going on!

A week ago we were all complaining about soil so wet from weeks of snow and rain that many of the spring crops were in danger of not getting planted at all and certainly not on time but we have risen like a phoenix!

In the late ‘80’s and early 90’s we had many a wet spring and because of that we developed our soil management system so we would be able to prepare soil with only a few dry days after a significant rain.  With beds raised up in the fall, that drain fast, we usually only need three days but the previous weeks of sopping moisture that ended on Thursday it would be a test.  Friday, Saturday, Sunday.  Late Sunday we tilled up 10 beds in our only south facing field, which dries out first, for onions and some flowers, not bad but not perfect.

Monday was forecast to be the last dry day and we hit the ground running with our new all-star staff member, Lacy and one other person in addition to the three of us.  Three of them started with the 7000 onion plants while I prepared another 28 beds in the lettuce and spring vegetable fields, the soil tilled beautifully!

To have a break from the endless onion planting, after lunch they moved into the lettuce field and set out 4000 lettuce plants while I pulled out the seeder and rolled out 13 beds of beets, broccoli raab, carrots, peas, radish, spinach and turnips.  To top off the day we planted several more beds of flowers.  In one day we had just about caught up to our original planting schedule!

And then a bonus!  It did not rain on Tuesday so we were able to finish up the onions and get a few more beds of flowers and vegetables in the ground.  In 34 seasons we don’t think we have ever planted so much at one time.  It will not be perfect as to crop timing and we did miss a few plantings of the earliest things like turnips and radishes but we are much relieved.

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Happy onions

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4000 lettuce in front with seeded vegetables behind under covers to germinate

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Abundant Anemones

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