Weather is so interesting isn’t it? This is definitely the time of year I start to feel like a rookie meteorologist. I am constantly checking all sorts of weather websites and looking outdoors at the clouds, checking the direction of the wind, what the minimum night temperatures will be….all to get a sense for what I can accomplish that day/week. Saying that I become obsessed with the weather is not a stretch. Ah, Michigan…we just really can never nail down what the weather will be like can we? Perhaps that is the case with farmers everywhere.
Transplants are ready to go in the ground at the end of this week– weather permitting. Kale, collards, kohlrabi, scallion, head lettuces, broccoli, etc could all be hardened off but it looks like I’ll have to wait another week at least. Potatoes, leeks and onion sets are set to arrive this week as well.
The bulbs we started are a mixed bag in terms of success. We’ll at least have 4 flats of beautiful black tulips that are only 4-5″ tall. ha! I know that cold nights make shorter stems but c’mon! So hopefully the night temps will warm up and the next big batch will have longer stems so we can actually sell them:) Luckily the tulips are clearly much farther along than all of the rest of the bulbs so we might be in luck (the photo above is all the bulb crates in the pathways of the hoop house).
We’ve got a healthy family of voles in the big hoop that have been thriving on a diet of organic spinach, chard and kale. Luckily, they also love peanut butter. I’ve got to focus more on this problem in the next few weeks before we get ready to plant our tomatoes in the hoop in mid-April.
The DNR should be coming out to the farm this week to give us a special deer hunting permit. We’ve continued to have damage from them most nights. They are cleaning out the overwintered spinach and carrots. Honestly its not such a big deal for those crops but is more of a concern for when we put new crops out. We’ve gotten a great response from friends, family and friends of friends to help cull the herd. Above is a photo of some of the field damage.
Andrew has been working on farm business on the side this Winter. Hes really taken on our books and for the first time we feel like we’re on top of things! The real big project for this season though is to build a beautiful trailer that will serve as a farm stand during the week and a market table in Plymouth on Saturdays. We’ve modeled it off of Eliot Coleman’s gorgeous cart.
This will be a busy week getting ready for employees to start, transplant work, greenhouse prep and hopefully a bit of field work. I’m really looking forward to more sun & warmth, insects, fresh veggies and seeing all the lovely people I miss at market each week.