As Winter Relents to Spring

Last season, I raised all of my early seedlings in my bedroom. I constructed an artificial growing environment for my crops – a makeshift shelf of buckets and boards supporting a few sets of fluorescent lights … and they survived. They didn’t really flourish; there were too many plants under too few lights, stretching and bending in an effort to embrace their substitute sun. Watering was a chore, spacing was an issue – in that I ran out quite quickly and was unable to seed an entire succession – the whole experience was a general inconvenience. So, this season I sought out an alternative. As luck would have it, my mentor through MOFGA’s Journeyperson program knew of a greenhouse operation in Unity that was renting out bench space to growers for a nominal fee. I immediately got one. My seedlings are now in the capable hands of the staff at Half Moon Greenhouse. They handle daily watering and I venture down once a week to check in, thin, pot up, and seed more. It’s ideal, and the seedlings are thriving.

Onions1Onion PathSpinach1Prize ChoyTiny TomatoesOverviewAfter a little experimenting I decided to start my tomatoes and peppers in my room. I seeded the crops into open flats and placed them on a heat mat. The tomatoes emerged in force after a few days and the peppers began popping up soon there after. Heat MatHeat Mat 2

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It’s an uprising.

 

Dilly Bean Farm … 2015

SeedingWelcome to the second season of Dilly Bean Farm. The 2015 season officially began with the seeding of this year’s allium crop. A nice thought, considering the icy weather abounding outside. The seeds of onions, leeks, scallions, and shallots are awakening beneath their blanket of soil, soon to erupt from the earth to absorb all the energy this vibrant February sun has to offer. They’re in luck too, because they will actually be exposed to natural sunlight this year. Last season I grew all of my seedling under lights in my bedroom, but this year I will be renting bed space in a nearby heated greenhouse to grow my earliest crops. I have a feeling they will be much more content with their new living arrangement.

SeedsThe first season of Dilly Bean Farm was a resounding success. I was able to fulfill each of my eight CSA shares and still had enough produce leftover to sell at the Natural Living Center – my employer, a local natural foods store – and to customers of a local dairy and creamery, Siberia Farms. I hope to expand on this accomplishment this season. I am looking to expand the size of both my farm – from approximately one-third of an acre to a full half-acre – and my CSA. I have five members returning and would like a final CSA sized between 15 and 20 shares. I also plan to continue selling through the aforementioned venues.

SeededTo achieve these goals, I’m going to continue to experiment with vertical growing, growing crops on black plastic and/or under floating row cover, a tighter succession schedule, and I will dabble in inter-planting cash crops. As an example, I might seed a greens mix for salad in the same bed I transplant broccoli in to, so that the greens grow under the broccoli and are harvested before they cause too much interference.

Registration for the Dilly Bean Farm CSA is open to everyone. I will accept any interested parties until May 1st – and later, if space is still available. There is a link at the top of the page to a PDF file detailing the program, and I will graciously answer any and all queries.

 

CSA Week 10

Half Share
1 Bunch Kale ($2.5)
1 Bunch Chard ($2.5)
1 Bunch Turnips ($2.5)
1lb Summer Squash ($2.5)
1lb Cucumbers ($2.5)
3 Peppers ($2)
.25lb Beans ($1)
.5lb Carrots ($1.25)
1lb Tomatoes ($3.5)
1 Cabbage ($3)
1 Winter Squash ($1.5)
Total: $23.85

Full Share
.5lb Salad Mix ($5)
2 Bunches Kale ($5)
1 Bunches Chard ($2.5)
1 Bunches Turnips ($2.5)
.75lb Broccoli ($3)
1lb Summer Squash ($3.75)
2lb Potatoes ($5)
2lb Cucumbers ($5)
.75lb Beet Greens (3)
3 Peppers ($2)
.5lb Beans ($2)
.5lb Carrots ($1.25)
1lb Tomatoes ($3.5)
1 Cabbage ($3)
1 Winter Squash ($1.5)
Total: $43.85

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A Creature in My Garden

So, I have been seeing the tracks of some sort of creature in my garden for the last month or so but was never able to find their owner … until now. I heard a rustling in my kale the other week and crept over to investigate. What I found was astonishing … it was the elusive Sasquash. I took a few pictures …

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CSA Week 8

Half Share
.25lb Salad ($2.5)
1 Bunch Kale ($2.5)
1 Bunch Chard ($2.5)
1lb Radishes ($2)
.25lb Broccoli ($1)
1.5lb Summer Squash ($3.75)
2lb Cucumbers ($5)
2lb Potatoes ($5)
2 Peppers ($1)
.25lb Beans ($1)
1 Head Lettuce ($2)
.5lb Beets ($1.25)
Total: $29.55

Full Share
.5lb Salad Mix ($10)
3 Bunches Kale ($7.5)
3 Bunches Chard ($3.5
1lb Radishes ($2)
.75lb Broccoli ($3)
1 Head Lettuce ($2)
1.5lb Summer Squash ($3.75)
3lb Cucumbers ($7.5)
2 Peppers ($1)
.5lb Beans ($2)
1 Bunch Scallions ($2.5)
.75lb Beets ($1.88)
1 Melon ($4)
.5lb Tomatoes ($1.75)
Total: $57.43

CSA Week 7

Half Share
.25lb Salad ($2.5)
1 Bunch Kale ($2.5)
1 Bunch Chard ($2.5)
1lb Broccoli ($4)
1lb Summer Squash ($2.5)
1 Kohlrabi ($1)
1 Head Bok Choy ($2)
1.5lb Cucumbers ($3.75)
.5lb Beet Greens ($2)
2 Peppers ($1)
.5lb Beans ($2)
1 Bunch Cilantro ($2)
.5lb Beets ($1.25)
1lb Tiny Carrots ($2.5)
Total: $31.50

Full Share
1lb Salad Mix ($10)
3 Bunches Kale ($7.5)
3 Bunches Chard ($3.5)
2lb Broccoli ($8)
1lb Summer Squash ($2.5)
2 Bunches Turnips ($5)
2 Heads Bok Choy ($4)
2lb Cucumbers ($5)
1lb Beet Greens ($4)
2 Peppers ($1)
1lb Beans ($4)
1 Bunch Cilantro ($2)
1 Bunch Dill ($2)
.5lb Beets ($1.25)
1lb Tiny Carrots ($2.5)
.5lb Cherry Tomatoes ($1.75)
Total: $68.00

Beaver Dam Broccoli Cukes and Ladders Fall Brassicas Head Lettuce Know Your Onion Melon and Squash Melons Nasturtium NLC Farm Stand 2 NLC Farm Stand Piracicaba Tiny Beets

CSA Week 5

Half Share

  • 1/2lb Salad Mix ($5)
  • 1 Bunch Kale ($2.5)
  • 1 Bunch Chard ($2.5)
  • 1lb Summer Squash ($2.5)
  • 1lb Cucumbers ($2.5)
  • 1 Bunch Kohlrabi ($2.5)
  • 1 Pepper ($.50)

TOTAL: $18

Full Share

  • 1/2lb Salad Mix ($5)
  • 2 Bunches Kale ($5)
  • 2 Bunches Chard ($5)
  • 1/2lb Broccoli ($2)
  • 1lb Summer Squash ($2.5)
  • 1lb Cucumbers ($2.5)
  • 1 Bunch Kohlrabi ($2.5)
  • 2 Peppers ($1)
  • 2 Bunches Cilantro ($4)
  • 1 Bunch Scallions ($2.5)
  • 1 Bunch Beets ($3)

TOTAL: $35