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Faring the Freeze & Preparing for the First Farm Fun Day

Village Farm Team,

We closed out 2017 and began 2018 with some uncharacteristically cold weather! Not to fear though, the farm team winterized the animal pens and greenhouse in advance of the freezing temperatures. Thick plastic sheeting was installed around the bottom of the greenhouse to add insulation and create a warm and humid climate for our transplants. As for the animals, they have been enjoying warm water in the mornings in addition to treats of cooked oatmeal from Farm Educator Bonnie.

Winter has been the perfect opportunity to dream and plan for the coming year. The team is currently locking down what perennials to plant in our raised beds. Asparagus and artichokes, anyone? Since we lost our bees during Harvey, we are working to install a new hive soon. Once we are able to obtain our bees, our horizontal top bar hive will allow the bees the freedom to create the space and shape of the comb.

Despite several days in a row of freezing temperatures, our crops are doing great. We have cold weather varieties planted that are hardier and made to withstand the lower temperatures. One of the added benefits of a freeze is that it will make brassicas (Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage) chard, and beets sweeter. This happens because the natural response to freezing temperatures is for the plant to convert its store of starches into sugar. This works to keep the plant from freezing and in turn increases the amount of natural sugars present. More sugar means a sweeter and less bitter taste for us!

Our first Farm Fun Day will be tomorrow, January 6th! Attendees will be seeding trays of tomatoes in the greenhouse with the farm team. Among the varieties to be planted are Cherokee purple, green zebra, Amish gold, black krim, speckled Roman, and indigo rose. If you can’t make it for our tomato seeding extravaganza, future Farm Fun Days will take place on the first and third Saturday of every month. You can view the calendar here.

Happy Harvesting,

The Agmenity Farm Team

Words & Photos by Courtney West

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