As expected, the end of February and the start of March are attempting to demonstrate that They Are Winter. Here at Shilofarm there wasn’t a lot of snow – but there were two days that hit the very low 20’s which is considered to be officially cold. There seems to be a positive correlation between the ground freezing and the herd of birds (Quail, primarily) that sneak into the greenhouse to snack on warm things like lettuce and pea plants – to the detriment of the CSA.
Since this weather was expected none of the outside crops were impacted. Last week’s harvest did entail digging through a 1-2″ layer of frozen soil, but that isn’t too awful. It also required hand watering from the house spigot since the water line to the greenhouse was shut off for the duration.
The expectation here is that over the next two weeks a gradual overall warming will happen. That will result in setting out the cold tolerant plants for green season, including Kale, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Asian mustard and lettuce. Meanwhile as the Bok Choi is passed out to you that raised bed will be refilled with Chard. New snap peas were set out this week with a floating crop cover to hide from the predator birds. Somewhere near the 15th of the month some outside seeding will happen – not having beet greens is frustrating for this season – rodents really did a great job of eating every last one.
Generally, this first four weeks will be pretty uniform. Expect more size to the lettuces, bok choi, spinach and arugula every week. Meanwhile the early cabbage is starting to think about forming heads. It will happen suddenly, but meanwhile they don’t look like they make any progress. It is always a surprise at how well the Chives take off in the late winter – and this year is no exception. The baby turnips and radishes are doing well also, albeit once in a while a radish is found with rodent tooth marks.
It is always a bit surprising at how quickly the seasons roll past – here we are at week three. Here’s the ‘table’ of what to expect:
|Lettuce||Winter Density and Red Iceberg continue to produce. The Cegolaine has been grazed off twice now by quail… but is grimly determined to keep growing. TBD when it gets big enough.|
|Brassicas||Bok Choi. Kale is coming, but Not Yet. Cabbage is out there a few weeks.|
|Roots||Salad (Japanese small white) Turnips, three different types of radishes, over wintered Parsnip, and Carrots. Roasting the carrots and parsnips is Really Good.|
|Greens||a little bigger Arugula, mustard is very small but growing fast.|
|Herbs||Chives are great; celery is putting on new leaf but is under attack by rodents. Three traps set as well as Vole ‘bait.’|
|Misc||If something comes around, this is where it will be. Chard is about 3″ tall, and waiting for space in the bok choi bed… Setting it out next week.|
The FarmCraft this week is (are?) cards embroidery on card stock, that is. They are very nice, speak up if you are interested in a packet of them.
Spring is coming…