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Change of seasons…

March 10, 2011

In a matter of weeks we have seen the temperatures go from below freezing to the nineties.  (Yikes – not already please!)  As a matter of course,  this has resulted in some big changes around here.  I posted a little of what we have done to the front garden, and here is what is going on in the high tunnel.

It was just a few weeks ago that the tunnel was filled with row after row of beautiful lettuce greens.  Now that frost is no longer a threat, the greens are growing outside in the backfield and we were able to harvest those in the tunnel to make room for heirloom tomatoes.

Aidan, never one to miss out on something big going on around here, had run out to the tunnel at breakneck speed when he heard what was going on.  Not a lot goes on around here without him having to help, give an opinion, or supervise.

After we harvested all of the rows, Sean then got to work on the tractor and spaded the ground to get ready for new planting.

Sean is so ridiculously happy when he is on a tractor.  It must be a boy thing.

Here is a little of the transformation…

And the final result, all of that fresh dirt ready to be repurposed for the new season.  Amazing what a few days and a few degrees can do around here.

These are the tomato plants that have gone from little seedlings like this…

to this in the green house,

and now they have come to live here.

Marsha oversaw the planting of 600 tomato plants this week.  (Aidan would have, but the third grade needed him more.)  We have another 100 plants going into the front garden. There are 22 varieties of heirloom tomatoes now growing in the high tunnel that will be ripe and ready by mid-May.

All of the signs are to keep them straight.  Heirloom tomatoes have wonderfully lyrical names like “Nebraska Wedding”, “Mr. Stripey”, “Garden Peach”, “Cherokee Purple”, “Aunt Ruby’s German Green”, and some new varieties for us including “Persimmon” and “Zhezha”.



10 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary Keegan. AKA. Mom permalink
    March 11, 2011 3:22 am

    I love your writing style, the cool pictures of the farm and some of my favorite people!
    Have a happy day.

  2. March 11, 2011 4:58 am

    These pictures just make me smile. What an amazing operation you have going to feed all of us foodies. Thank you for all that you do.


  3. Paulla permalink
    March 11, 2011 7:47 am

    Loved all the pics and seeing parts of the farm. Keep them coming. Bob is amazing! Makes me want to come and work for him again. We so appreciate all the McClendon’s do! And the tractor pic…I would be happy riding one, too. I so miss my riding lawnmower!

    Thanks for all you do!

  4. Alisa Feng permalink
    March 11, 2011 9:53 am

    Thank you for the wonderful updates. It makes me feel very excited about purchasing the amazing produce from your farm.

  5. Pam permalink
    March 11, 2011 3:48 pm

    My daughter and I drive from North Scottsdale to Old Town on Saturdays just to buy your veggies. They make my ‘life’ as a vegan so much more enjoyable! I love these pics and your sense of humor in describing them. Thanks to you and Payton for the bean instructions. I am glad we had that ‘meeting’ weeks ago over the beans (!) regarding the posting of recipes, etc. We will miss you through out the summer. 😦 So, until then, we will eat well until the last week in May!!!

  6. Carol permalink
    March 11, 2011 4:00 pm

    I have dreaming of McClendon Heirloom tomatoes which for me are the very essence of summer.
    I can taste them already…..

  7. Jaime permalink
    March 11, 2011 9:54 pm

    Great post! Thanks for sharing. I’m excited to see the progress that the tomatoes make in the building.

  8. Kay Pihl permalink
    March 12, 2011 9:29 pm

    We bought some green leafy veggie next to the kale. It starts with an “s” and is really foreign to us–spirogella or something like that. You said you would post the recipe by Friday. We don’t want to lose that lovely veggie so please post a recipe. We would sure appreciate it. We love your help at the market.

    • March 12, 2011 11:04 pm

      The green you are referring to is called Spigarello and I love it. It is a non-heading heirloom broccoli variety from Italy that is less bitter than broccoli and can be slightly sweet, very similar to kale. I will post a recipe from Payton, but for now here is one from New York Magazine. They saute it with a little chile flakes and honey. I have done this before without the chile flakes and really enjoy it with a little honey.


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