As we all know the amount of rain we have been getting this spring has been monumental as far as the impact it has made in the realm of growing anything on time! Even the crops that have been seeded in the greenhouse, potted up to bigger sizes, when planted in the fields on days dry enough to til, they have been sitting there with cold feet. I have been using row covers to manage some of the cool nights and then planting more to make up for what I was afraid of-a delayed harvest this year.
What this means is that the harvest season will be extended by two weeks, as it will begin two weeks later. Now it's not to say that all of a sudden we get 70 plus degree weather by some miracle. If there is enough out there to justify a trip for you to come out and get more than a bundle of radishes, I will certainly be calling you all to arrange to pick up earlier. I just don't want to get our hopes up.
How this works is I have to make sure that there is enough of a continual harvest of items to start out the season with. If I picked everything that was ready that first week, and then the cold weather and rain continues, I will not have much of anything the next week. I don't want to cut you all short. It all has to be paced out for an even distribution cycle. I have emailed all of our subscribers who have signed up already and have only heard back from a few people about this announcement. Please check your email for the dates you are scheduled to pick up.
Planting updates: As of last Friday-Summer squash transplants went in, 25 tomato plants, 10 peppers, more lettuce seeded as the slugs ate the baby ones that had a chance, more cucumbers transplanted (lemon ones), and a mesculine mix that I had planted 3 weeks ago is coming up great! A lot more spinach seedlings were transplanted, and radishes were seeded for their first time. The potatoes that were planted over a month ago are starting to show their leaves.
As of a bit over a week ago-initial cucumbers in, summer squash, 25 tomato plants, 300 more onion starts, 20 wheel barrow loads of compost moved, cilantro seeded, broccoli babies settled in, fertilize AGAIN! :) with all natural ingredients. That was just today! Yesterday was just as intense. Thank goodness for some sun!
What a great day it was on Thursday to amend the soil, til and plant! The baby lettuce and spinach starts were happy to be taken out of their tightly seeded homes and put into the earth they so deserved! Their seedy cousins followed suit behind them, carefully tossed into neat rows and patted down. Then came along some broccoli toddlers who cheerfully accepted their new home on the same day! The walla walla and white onion starts balked a bit, as they were so used to entwining their roots among each other, they managed to be somewhat separated and regrouped into a more suitable medium to show what they are made of. Other veggies directly seeded this day was additional spinach, carrots, beets and greens mixes. Yes it was a great relief to have enough dry days in a row to get these starts in the ground so they can work their yummy magic for the early part of the harvest season. The strawberries are a bit cautious still, and this farmer needs to wait just a little bit longer before fertilizing them for juicy berries. There has been some frosty mornings we don't want to push them too far out of dormancy before the soil is warm enough to coax them into flowering for berries.
I observed quite a few volunteer broccoli raab, cilantro and a few other hardy plants that will give us a second early season of tasty salad fixins. It is always a surprise as to which hardy plants survived the coldest of winters and come back to visit in the spring. The garlic is still going just as nicely as a few leeks wanted to hang around for year two. The sugar snap peas are showing themselves as well. Lets cross our fingers the rains stop for more planting sooner rather than later!
Wow here it is March, and not enough dry days in a row( still) to go till that soil for early seed sowing. Tilling or plowing wet soil creates a restrictive environment for promising seed growth. Working with wet soil can do more harm than good! The soil binds up and compacts so much so that when the seeds are planted they struggle to grow roots, it almost suffocates them and smaller plants are many times the result of planting in too wet of soil. The rains creating a soggy structure also can cause seeds to rot in the ground even if they manage to make any design of root growth.
According to a news release by one of our local channels we are supposed to have a continually wet spring. No not again this year!!!!! I sure hope they are wrong!
So leave it to the invention of plastics (used oh so sparingly), to allow me to dry out at least some of the rows I have got to have dried out enough to til. Jordyn, a local Prarie High School student and Lady Pack member of our local Rugby team was kind enough to help me place grow tunnels over some of the key rows I need dried out first. It is definitely a two person job to manage the wires and ever sliding plastic sleeves if you want relatively straight rows. Thanks Jordyn!
Well off to more trays of seed starts and hope for drier weather!
Subscriptions now available for pick up in the downtown Camas area. If we can get at least 10 full produce subscriptions filled for this location, we can accommodate you. Price for a full share is 500.00. If you are interested in a half share, find a buddy or coworker to take turns picking up.
All interested parties need to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org your contact information, and three best times and day choices most convenient for you to pick up your produce for 20 weeks beginning the first week of June. This pick up arrangement is designed to be a partnership with the Camas Food Co-op where they are stronglly motivated to host a CSA style drop for Camas residents.
The Clark County Farmerette welcomes you to her fifth growing season in Brush Prarie, Washington! Over the years I have fine tuned what is popular with the folks that I grow for and refine it every season yet still offer the diversity of introducing new veggie varieties to keep it real.
This month on the farm the garlic that was planted back in October is sprouting up oh so nicely. It has been quite wet out still to do any type of earth moving and looking forward to a few sunny weeks to get out there for prepping sake. The previous fall's crops that were not meant to make it through the winter have decomposed nicely into the soil to encourage those microorganisms and nutrients to give back to the medium in which they once thrived above ground. So things are happening in that soil albeit it doesn't look like much right now, plant life still goes on.
The recent skyrocketing of produce prices is a stark reminder of what can happen when the world relies on outside, out of country and/or distant farms to meet their basic human need of food! More than that, seasonal items that a CSA farm can offer to help you understand and eat within your means with what is around you. I pulled an article off the internet-
For 2011, Rosemattels is currently offering produce subscriptions in the East Vancouver Area! June-October full and half subscription pick ups just off of Mill Plain in the Fircrest neighborhood. Contact the farmerette for more details!
Harvests pick ups are winding down for this season, in the next few weeks I will be evaluating what is left in the ground for some extra pick up days at a nominal fee. Our mild fall, so far, has allowed many items to continue to grow for many more weeks of harvesting. Let me know if you would like a list of what is left at the end of October, if you are interested in getting a bit more for your foodie needs. Now is the time, too, where row clean ups, mowing, soil amending and cover cropping commences as well as preliminary seed starting for early plantings at the end of the winter phase. I will also be putting together 2011 contracts for early sign up incentives for those of you who would like to help support this Farmerette get ready for next year. I will be implementing some additional row tunnels, ground cloth for sure as it just was too iffy this year to take another chance at the lack of "tomoatoship" the microclimates offered me at my farming location in Brush Prarie. I would like to thank many of my returning subscribers for giving me the heads up they are ready to sign up for next season. I am thankful they have understood the seasonal eating and working with mother nature aspect that my CSA farm encompasses.