The warm season crops are in!

Today, we transplanted tomatoes, basil, peppers, okra, and eggplants.

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Our first planting of sweet corn and beans went in this week, as did our summer squash and cucumbers.  We put in new plantings of sweet corn and green beans every two weeks, to maintain a supply of fresh corn and beans, for as long as possible during the growing season.

Almost every bed here in this picture is now planted and in production.  It’s an area roughly the size of a football field.  Not bad for two people using mostly hand tools!

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Prepping soil on our farm

We’ve been very busy working the soil on the farm getting it ready for intensive organic vegetable production.  In early spring, this involves plowing the fields: IMG_1087 After plowing, we then level out the soil with our roto tiller: IMG_1120 Based on soil tests, we then add organic soil amendments to maintain the fertility of soil.  This year, we are applying rock phosphate, green sand, and re-vita pro fertilizer. IMG_1096IMG_1097 IMG_1100 We use a hand cranked broadcast spreader to evenly apply the amendments. IMG_1099 After that, the beds are either transplanted into IMG_1104 Or direct seeded, using an Earthway planter IMG_1115 IMG_1116 IMG_1117 All that is left to do is watch the plants grow!

The garlic is doing well

It’s about 3 weeks since the garlic pushed up out of the ground.  They have put on quite a bit of growth in that time!

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The garlic is up!

Last fall, we received our seed garlic bulbs.  The variety were are growing is a hard neck garlic called “Russian Red”.

We separated the cloves individually IMG_0603 IMG_0601

And planted them in a deeply worked bed in late October IMG_0604 IMG_0605

Now, in mid March, just days after the ground had thawed, they have already sprouted!  It is so refreshing to see new growth in spring!IMG_0774[1]

Looking forward to spring

We’re having record cold and the farm is resting under a blanket of snow:

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But, before long, it will soon look like this:

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And we’ll have large amounts of fresh locally grown produce that looks like this:

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We’re really excited for winter to break and spring to arrive!

Our Seed Starting Mix

We made our first batch of our custom seed starting mix today.  We have been very happy with the performance of this mix and wanted to share the recipe here for anyone interested.  It is a great mix for using soil blocks, but also excels in plug trays, pots, or any container you can think of.

Instructions: (The “cup” is your basic kitchen measuring cup)

Place 15 gallons of peat moss in a large wheelbarrow

Add 1/2 cup limestone and mix

Add 1 cup granular organic fertilizer (We use Fertrell Feed N Grow purchased from Fedco) and mix

Add 5 gallons compost and mix

Add 5 gallons perlite and mix until it looks like this:

Seed Starting Mix

Seed Starting Mix

This yields about 25 gallons of mix.  It has sufficient nutrients to carry almost all of your seedlings to transplant age.

When you are ready to use it, make sure you add water and mix it until it is moist before placing it into the growing container.  If placed into the potting containers dry, it will be extremely difficult to get the mix wet enough to support vigorous plant growth.

Happy growing!

Early Incentive Program

New this year is the Saltzgiver Family Farm early incentive program. Sign up for a CSA share before March 1st, 2015, and take $25.00 off the share price.

This is our way of saying “Thank you” to farm members who join us early on in the season which in turn makes crop planning much easier.

If you have already sent in your payment before we announced this new program, the discount will be refunded to you!

The sign up form can be found here:  CSA letter 2015