post no. 50 – farm updates for May 2020

This first month of our 2020 market season, while not over quite yet, has been exciting and busy. But before getting to market news and thanking folks who’ve supported our business especially during the pandemic, here’s some of what is going on at the farm.

farm visitors

We’ve welcomed a few people to the farm, for plant purchases mostly, both from the surrounding area and some who trekked out from Minneapolis. It is a wonderful opportunity, and we continue to offer open sales hours 2-7 each Friday!

spring crops/summer crops

following Monday’s rain: the most glorious garlic we’ve grown

In this part of the year, we are harvesting spring crops like kale, radishes, Napa cabbage, and beets, while also planting and tending summer crops, which include cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, herbs, tomatoes, and carrots (sort of a spring-summer hybrid).

tomatoes reaching upward from a sea of baby mustard greens

In the high tunnel, spring crops like mustard greens, radishes, and baby lettuces saw the addition of tomato plants almost a month ago, and the 2 crop types have been living mostly harmoniously ever since! Once these spring crops have been harvested, the beds will belong to tomatoes alone, with the simple addition of basil.

seasonal favorites

We are gearing up for the first harvest of Bear Necessities kale, the only crop we grow that several customers ask for using the variety name. It’s an amazing, super frilly kale for effortlessly creating a kale salad or incorporating into any other salad!

Bear Necessities kale interplanted with Red Barron onion

soil health

We have experienced 2 periods of heavy rain in the past 8 days, and we think it is essential to minimize the amount of bare soil that can be washed away by heavy rains.

2 future carrot beds planted with an oats & peas cover crop

Some of our growing areas will not be planted until late June to, in the case of garlic, mid-October, and rather than keeping them bare or allowing weeds to grow, we sow certain cover crop seeds. Cover crops add organic material – carbon – to soil, and some, including peas, are legumes that produce nitrogen with the assistance of certain bacteria. The oats & peas cover crop above will be mowed with a scythe in about a week and then solarized (using clear plastic) for a couple of sunny days to kill the cover crop. In a few weeks, without having to till the soil at any point, carrot seeds will be sown here for early fall harvest.

farmers markets

Back to the subject of markets: we have been busy, and we have so much gratitude. We were happy to offer pre-orders for plants right away, adding fresh produce as the month progressed. Our plant inventory is almost sold out (we will continue to offer what we still have at market), and especially during this time of extreme uncertainty, we appreciate every single person who chose to buy something from us during the month of May.

Midtown Farmers Market, 8 AM, on May 23

During parts of April, many farmers and other producers did not know if farmers markets would run at all, and both of our markets have taken serious care to keep customers and vendors safe. In an outdoor environment, with special precautions to maintain distance and suppress the spread of respiratory illness, we think the farmers market is THE best way to be getting food, plants, snacks, flowers, and more.

It will not be long until the produce offerings shift from spring specialties (kale, radishes, arugula) to summer delights (cucumber, zucchini, tomatoes, and salad mix throughout, we hope!), and we are grateful to be in it this season especially.

Thanks for reading and take care!!

-patrick

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