April is fully upon the farm – with the required bad weather here at the start. Lots of wind, rain & hail just to keep the job from being boring. Being inside the greenhouse in a hail/wind burst is a bit like being inside a drum with a long drum roll sounding. The old farm dog (may he rest in peace) was terrified when that happened and would run straight to the house in abject terror. It was both amusing and a bit sad to watch.
The Green Season starts this week – which is why the greenhouse is so vital. This season is such an amazingly rapid progression from nasty to being in good production. If all goes as usual, somewhere around the 4th week of this season some of the more outstanding outdoor crops start to show up – the most interesting is Asparagus; fresh-harvested Asparagus is pretty outstanding. The scary thing is what might get killed by a late hard freeze – the riskiest is tree fruit. In 2021, it was very cold in February and March but not in April. In 2020, on the other hand, just at the start of April there was a polar outbreak from Canada that dropped down into the teens and made for some missing fruit.
The Green Season members are pretty locked down at this point. There may or may not be a late add this week, but it is close to ready to start. There are some new members, and quite a few returning folks. The week one “in the box” posting/email will be issued tomorrow, and there will be a minor change to the Shilofarm web site to start asking people to commit to the Main season – unless that has already been done.
There are probably 25 trays of starts in the greenhouse that will be for Main season or for the tag end of Green season. Included in those trays are 14 trays of flower starts. The bulk of the flowers are nicely started – Celosia, however, defended it’s reputation for being very difficult to germinate. Two trays of 32 cells each – one tray has exactly four plants that emerged, the second tray did better – maybe 15 starts. The seed is microscopic. It looks like you may have the opportunity to buy starts of some flowers here in May – stay tuned this bat channel…(that is SO 1965…).
Just as a refresher, the green season root crops won’t extend into the first weeks of main season. The reason that can be an issue is that soil temperatures and weather can make root crop germination, especially carrots, a real problem. That means that the carrots for Green Season are rationed. Now, if you are a fan of Southern Giant Mustard – well, you are in luck. One row has already been fed to the cows, and yet there is more.
There won’t be a huge list of what is being planted for main season as yet – that said, if you track the “in the box” emails/posts you can infer what is happening. There is a major effort to ensure that the brassicas are available, and herbs. The greenhouse has the mint and Oregano as well as Arugula and Chives: outside has the Garlic, Parsley and Cilantro. Normally a member gets a sprig or so – but a couple of the Winter season members have been getting large bunches of Arugula. There was a request for root herbs – Ginger and Turmeric – which can’t be done this late. Some of those need to be planted or started in the greenhouse three months ago. Obviously, the farm way-back machine isn’t going to accomplish that task.
So… New potatoes in June… Maybe even in May. It will be amazing!
Join the CSA – save the farm! (Well, at least help the farmer…)