Transplanting Brassicas & Winterizing the Animal Pens
Village Farm Team,
We’re slowly but surely preparing and planting beds with all manner of brassica transplants from the greenhouse. This past week we planted a second succession of both red and Bilko cabbages and mustard greens. We also planted first successions of kale, cauliflower, and broccoli. Ever wonder why we only grow leafy greens in the cooler parts of the year? Higher temperatures tend to slow their growth and make the leaves more bitter. Light freezes on the other hand tend to make the leaves delicious and sweet!
The transition to cool weather crops also means it’s time to winterize our animal pens. For the goats we added a wind-break on the northern side of their pen to block the chilly north winds. For the chickens, we make sure to keep layering in mulch on their coop floor as the deep litter method we use generates heat through the composting process that occurs in the deeper layers. As for their diets, we’ll make sure both our goats and chickens are getting supplemental protein this time of year so that they can generate sufficient body heat.
We harvested the first of our arugula last week! Arugula, sometimes referred to as salad rocket, can be eaten raw or cooked and has a lovely peppery bite. Like a lot of leafy greens, the outer leaves can be trimmed and harvested while the inner leaves are left to grow, mature, and eventually produce successive harvests. If you weren’t able to pick some of the first harvest up at the market this past weekend, we’ll be making another harvest in the next few weeks once the leaves have had a chance to mature.