Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The View from Open Heart Farm

Today I was out at our fields, seeding in a cold frame some totsoi and arugala. This 5 by 10 foot frame is really for Rachel and I to eat, get off the expensive not so pretty (this time of year) greens of City Market.

I really liked the golden color of Digger's Mirth cover crop there in the distance.

A few other notes: Can I just say that the green houses are so much more exciting when Rachel (the other half of open heart) is working with me. She will be entering more full time into the picture soon, but until then I thought I'd put a picture of her up here on the web, and let her smiling telematic eyes transmit some happiness to the seedlings. I think it is a proven fact seedlings like happiness. Also nice to see a summer scene.

In the last post I promised to explain a little about how we know when to seed which seeds. All I really wanted to refer people to was a calender called Stella Natura. It simply maps out the phases of the moon, and then correlates it with different groups of plants, like flower, root, leaf, and fruit. So, for example, today was a leaf day: I seeded oregano, parsley, and sage. All things that you use the leaf of. They aren't all so easy. About a week ago, I was trying to figure out what categories cauliflower and broccoli go in. Turns out, that despite the name, cauliflower would be seeded as a leaf, where broccoli would be a flower. It did make sense to me after I thought about it, as I definitely see the broccoli part that we eat become a flower if left too long, but the cauliflower head just seems to rot, still not sure how the flower and seed head would come for that crop. People ocassionally ask how much this matters, and there is some western scientific evidence that the gravitational field of the moon can give your seeds a day or twos advantage, better germination and such, but it is also just helpful to me to give a little order to the whole thing, and helps me make sure, especially early on, that I am keeping pace with the season.

Voila, the device with which we seed trays at OHF, a business card. That is statice seed in there, for the curious.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

It's Melting!

I was going to write this blog entry entitled "Inside / Outside" as exemplified by the two pictures here. Both taken the same day I think. One, our lush looking first table in greenhouse number 10 down in the Intervale, and the other, the sunny but still tundra-like trail to same greenhouse. And for poetic sake mirrored in my still feeling the distance between my three-month stint at TDBanknorth, in the Williston Wireroom, and my blank slate start here in the first week of full time farm work, but alas, before I could capture the poetic sentiment, it's down the drain, literally. It's Melting!

Not to ramble too much about those "hmm" moments of the blogosphere but can I say I'm always amazed when I walk by a drain in town and hear the water going down it and then see how much snow is left and I'm like, "That water is flowing more or less constantly, it must really add up."

And it does. Which is why I'm probably not the only farmer constantly checking the levels of the Winooski, hoping for no flood, or at least an early one, as opposed to last year's in June. If you are interested in keeping vigil w/r/t/ the river just bookmark the National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service. Hydrologic is definitely a ten cent word, not sure it's in the dictionary though.

So my new poetic sentiment (for this week) is that this year is going to be one more of melt/meld, whether one wants to call it whole living, a meeting of the tribes, general fluidness with and between things, or something else neat.

In strictly farm news: I seeded the beets today (one of the crops Rachel and I are going for major expansion of this year), and lots of brocolli tomorrow. We are planning to create more early variety in our CSA share this year.* If you are wondering how, when, and why different seeds get done on different days, look for future posts.

*For more info on the CSA, look at the post below.