A journal entry, the farm in April-May

The tables in the hoop are full are tomato seedlings and other plants for sale or for planting into our rows. The trays overflow onto the ground, before they are planted out into the field. Now the hoophouse ground is full of tomato seedlings growing fast and strong for an early tomato harvest.

We are busy planting out so many different crops–lettuce (four varieties!), fennel, radishes, beans, to name a few from this week. We’re watching the progress on crops planted earlier–turnips, bok choi, scallions, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi and other early crops for first CSA week’s harvest in a couple weeks. CSA shares still available!

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Here are some young lettuce seedlings before they were planted out in the field.

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We¬†hosted two large group events in April–students from Poolesville High School’s Global Ecology magnet program came out to the farm for a tour and work day. We have enjoyed working with these students over the past 9 years. But it still takes my breath to see 40 students march down the farm lane toward me on field trip day! 40 students for two mornings, 80 total. I give a little talk about our farm and organic practices. Then they divide into groups doing different tasks on the fields, some planting seedlings, some making soil mix and filling pots, some prepping the fields for cultivation. We are very organized with jobs so that we can put everyone to work quickly.

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They enjoy visiting with the farm animals, especially the goats. Our sons, Noah and Jonah, are in charge of taking them on tours of the goats and chickens. They do a great job leading animal tours.

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April also brought the annual Crop Mob, hosted by The Common Market. 30-40 people converge on the farm to get a lot of work done in a festive group day on the farm.

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April was full of extreme weather conditions. A couple weeks ago we had a few days of unusually cold weather. Phil and I worked in the sleet to protect the last of the crops that we wanted covered from the frost. Here is the lower part of Phil after that hour. His upper part was equally wet and sloppy after mucking in the field to save some tender crops. It worked, they survived!

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