Spring has sprung on the farm! We planted our very first seed in the greenhouse two weeks ago and now our two greenhouses are filled with hundreds of flats of baby plants. Zinny (the littlest farmer) and I tour the greenhouses every morning to check on our “babies”. He is enjoying watching them grow bigger each day. (Photo below.) We started out seeding scallions and onions and have moved on to kale, lettuce, radicchio and fennel. Not all plants start their life in the greenhouse. Baby greens and root crops will be direct-seeded in the field. But for the majority of our crops, the greenhouse is where it all begins. Seeding will continue in earnest for the next several months. We schedule successive plantings of many crops to ensure that we will have a steady supply of them to harvest for you over the course of the season.
How do we plant our seedlings? Our plastic flats (trays) are filled with soil, small holes are dibbled in each cell, and the seeds are dropped into the holes before being covered with more soil. We have a vacuum seeder that helps us seed our pelleted brassica seeds by the flat, but the majority of seeds are planted by hand. (See photo above.) When you cut up your first Walla Walla onion this July, you can think about Noe, Mario, Orlando and Leah sitting in the warm greenhouse seeding these one by one during the early weeks of March.
Tractor field work has also begun! We are starting to rototill our cover crops to incorporate the organic matter into the soil. It will take several months for it to break down completely, so it was good to get a head start and take advantage of the beautiful warm weather. We don’t usually start any field work until April when the ground is fully defrosted.
Days are getting longer, and so is our to-do list. There is never a quiet moment on the farm! If you’d like to get a behind-the-scenes look at what we’re up to, follow us on Instagram! -Maggie