It is now very good growing weather, though it would also be nice to have a good inch or two of rain before another week passes. The forecast is for hotter weather in the next few days so things will really start to dry out quite quickly. But as long as there is enough moisture, germination and growth will be quite fast. We have seeded lettuce, parsnip and carrot and these three, if no others, will have narrow wooden boards laid over the seed row and be watered regularly; daily or at least every second day until germination. Then the boards will be removed. This is a neat trick that gives us an excellent germination for those small seeds that are at or near the soil surface and hence very easily dried out if not protected from direct sun and from winds.
Many of the seedlings in trays; kale, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, leek and onion, are now ready for transplanting and we’ll start working on that. The horses were used earlier this past week to work the soil with the disc harrows and to make seed beds using the cultivator with roller attached behind it. Then, the rows for the transplants, generally two per bed, are marked out by walking the row pushing the wheel hoe with a plow attachment. Almost always at least two passes are made. When we are getting ready for transplants, another one or two passes are made to get a good depth.
The horses, cows and the sheep were turned out on to grass for the first time this week. They were all held in a smallish area over winter and until the grass had made a good growth. Now they will rotate through different fenced paddocks, the cows two or three days on each area. They may stay longer or even a shorter time depending on the grass quality, rate of regrowth or pasture grass quality on the individual grazing areas. They are all very much happier to be out on fresh grass after eating hay all winter. All the hives are now stocked with bees and they are very actively foraging for pollen and nectar.
We are anticipating the CSA to begin in late June and will e-mail all of the CSA members before then. Somewhat behind where we would like to be this far this season.