Haven’t written for a while. Things are finally starting to dry out. A few sections are still under water- probably won’t be planting anything there except cover crop. Flea beetles and root maggot bad this spring. Had an influx of cucumber beetles but after 2 sprays of pyganic cleaned them right out. No leafhoppers or potato beetles yet. First GH tomatoes ripening, picking beets, broccoli, peas, greens still going strong. could start pulling baby carrots but still have good quality in storage so trying to move those out. Overwintered onions not sizing like last year, didn’t cover the as well and spring has just been crazy- only getting up to 3 inches before tops falling over- last year we had 4+. Strawberries took a hit from the weather although did spray with milstop and actinovate which seemed to help. First hilling of potatoes this week, a little too late but couldn’t get in earlier. Have seeded a few sections down with rye between plastic for weed control but with the wet weather we have had to weedwack it down- no weeds though… Farmers markets good, wholesale so-so depending on the account.
The weather is finally starting to break. Daytime temperatures are averaging in the 50s and nights are starting to be in the 30s. Fields are starting to dry out — we will be tilling by the end of the week on ground that was prepped and bedded up last fall.
Overwintered onions are looking good. They survived the winter in the mini-tunnels even though they only had one layer of 30 weight rowcover on them. We will be weeding and fertilizing them this week.
Greenhouses are okay. Some serious cercospera in the spinach that is not being driven back by actinovate or oxidate. New plantings of greens are coming on, while overwintered kale, Swiss chard and Asian greens are bolting. Hoophouses are replanted with spring greens. Tomatoes will go in late next week.
Went to an auction in Massachusetts last Saturday. Prices on some things were shockingly low. Barely used 35K onion bagging line went for 5K; beautiful 20-foot tri-fold transport disk, $1,800. Ford 8600 with new rubber, $6,000. I have to keep reminding myself I am not in the equipment business. I did pick up a rotary table, packing supplies, and a 1,500-gallon tank to expand our water storage system.
Will be publishing a Monday update of the farm during the growing season. We usually send Vern Grubinger at UVM an update for the vegetable and fruit listserve (if you are not on it email him to sign up firstname.lastname@example.org, $25 a year I think)
This time of year is always super stressful, we’re fixing equipment, the greenhouses are running full bore with transplants, we’re getting ready to put tomatoes in a couple of weeks, we’re checking and rechecking our master plan to make sure that everything is in order. Other than a new tractor, vegetable washing line, and pump for our 3rd well, no new equipment this year. Had some freeze damage in lettuce in the tunnels, tops seemed fine but cores froze and plants collapsed, we feel due to the uneven cold swings during the winter. Also seeing way more Cladosporium in spinach than we would like to. Opening up a new 8 acre field this year. Last 3 years have been a mix of cover crops as we readied it for certification so should be great to grow on this year. Not looking forward to the snow forecasted for tonight/tomorrow, things where just starting to dry out a bit