It all Starts with a Tiny Seed
I could go on and on about how the rain keeps going on and on, but I will save that for another day in hopes that the weather will settle soon. Instead I will focus on the "growings" on in the greenhouse. Beginning in March, this house is heated with a propane heater, set to about 50 degrees. There is no soil in here, only tables and it is where most of your food starts growing. Some seeds we plant directly into the field soil (direct seeding). These are usually plants that can be spaced together quite close and transplanting would be a daunting task. (dill, carrots, peas....) Although technically you can direct seed every vegetable, with our wacky climate and short growing season, the majority of our crops get a head start in the greenhouse and are then transplanted from pots to the field. Starting here allows a controlled environment for hard to germinate seeds and a warm environment for plants to start growing when planting them outside would be too cold (tomatoes, peppers...). It also protects seedlings from getting eaten by crows or insects (corn, cucumbers, broccoli...). The photo above is of broccoli seeds just starting to germinate (emerge from their seed).
Once the plants in those tiny celled trays reach a certain size, we transplant them to larger pots where they have more soil and nutrients. They continue to grow in the comfort of the greenhouse until they mature to a big enough size that they can hopefully withstand crow or insect pressure and the outdoor environment. We then transplant them into the field. Depending on the vegetable, plants stay in the greenhouse from 2-8 weeks. Inka makes sure I do everything right in there.
I love working in the green house! Especially in the late winter and early spring. (It gets pretty darn hot in there mid summer!) I am also protected from the outdoor elements and although the fields are too cold or too wet to work, the greenhouse is full of life and smells of earth. ...not to mention the kaleidoscope of lush growth is beautiful to look at.
Jean and I spent most of this drizzly day harvesting spinach under the protection of the hoop house. But its description will be for another blog : )
Thank you for joining us for another season of wacky weather, hopefully blogs not too complainy and awesome vegetables from Little Ridge Farm!!!!
This week's harvest: carrots, onions/shallots, celeriac, beets, potatoes and turnips from the root cellar. Freshly dug parsnips and fresh spinach!
Click on the veggie list on the right for our favorite recipes!