Though the hard freeze was weeks ago, it can take a little extra TLC and time before knowing whether or not a crop has survived unscathed. We are happy to report our greens on the North Farm are growing beautifully after removing the damaged outer leaves and applying some fertilizer. Our purple graffiti cauliflower are starting to crown giving us the sign that they survived the freeze as well. Once the crown begins to develop it will be about three to four weeks until we can harvest them.
The team is nearly finished planting all of the Black Spanish grapevines in the vineyard. The weather hasn’t be as cooperative as we would have liked so we have only been able to transplant about 75 percent of the vines. Once we get a break from the rain and the ground isn’t quite as saturated, we will be able to plant the remaining quarter of the vines.
Despite a slow start due to the freezing temperatures, our tomatoes plants in the greenhouse are coming along nicely! We have several different varieties planted to provide us with a rainbow of tomatoes when harvest time arrives this summer. The starts have about another month to grow in the greenhouse before we plant them in the fields. Once we plant the tomatoes and free up some space in the greenhouse, we’ll be seeding other summer crops like squashes and cucumbers.
Farm Educator Adam built the chickens a new, larger perch for their run this past week. It has space for about 25 hens to be able to roost at one time (each hen needs eight to ten inches of space). Chickens prefer to roost off the ground to avoid potential predators. The perch also allows the flock to separate itself based on pecking order as the more dominant hens will take the higher bars of the perch, while the less dominant hens roost on the lower bars. Roosting off the floor of the coop also minimizes their susceptibility to bacteria and parasites that might be on ground level.