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It’s the little things…

August 31, 2011

It is the little things around here that keep us going.  If you look closely, there are little things in the works all over.  The high tunnel is coming to life once again, despite the summer heat continuing to blast the Valley like a furnace.  Rows of little arugula plants are sprouting up, with the help of water and plenty of shade.  Look again and you can see the arugula in each stage of growth.

From this…

To this…

To this…

Why the difference?  Well, each section was planted about a week apart, so that they may be harvested and then replanted a week apart, rather than having all of it fully grown and ready for picking at the same time.  There is more than a little planning involving in getting this down to a perfect science.  But the details matter.  We do this with a number of crops to make sure that there is enough each week for the restaurants we work with and the farmers’ markets once they are back in full swing.  When it cools off a little more, we will rotate the arugula out of the high tunnel and allow something else to enjoy the shade it provides.

Inside under the grow lights, it looks the same.  We have little plants in all stages, waiting for their turn out in the field.  The grow lights are working overtime to get all of the seedlings for our fall crops mature and hearty enough for planting.  Right now it is too hot even in the green house, so we have the grow lights set up where it is shaded and cool to keep the seedlings from burning up.  When it cools off enough during the day we will move them into the green house and then finally out to the fields.

Often in this heat plants are not able to properly germinate.  By keeping them protected like this, we cut down on crop losses, and also prevent the birds from who are more than happy to eat up the seed as fast as it goes into the ground.

Under the lights right now we have sun gold tomatoes, eggplant, watermelon, squash and basil.  We rotate the crops under the lights or in the greenhouse, just as we do in the fields.  It is a constant cycle of staying out of the heat, planning the harvest before even putting a plant in the ground, and outsmarting the birds.  As one goes out, another comes in.  And on, and on, it goes.

Like I said, it’s the little things.

Speaking of which, did you know okra plants had such a pretty flower?

Isn’t it lovely?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary Keegan permalink
    August 31, 2011 4:13 am

    I loved seeing the various stages of growth. The farm is a magical place.

  2. Pat Weinberg permalink
    September 8, 2011 12:44 am

    I feel like a virtual farmer. Your prose brings the produce to life and I can’t wait to get it on my plate. Thanks for sharing the process.

  3. Joan Knapp permalink
    September 8, 2011 1:48 pm

    that is a lovely flower! I grew okra a few years ago and although I Had pleanty of wonderful okra, I do not remember seeing such a flower. I wonder how I missed it!

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