We were able to make a pretty bountiful first harvest of the year this past weekend which included carrots, radishes, collard greens, a few types of mustard greens, and herbs. Though we made the first harvest of red cabbage the week before last, we harvested our first green cabbages on this round. We have both Farao and Capture varieties growing on the farm, both of which produce green heads with crisp, peppery-sweet leaves. These varieties are perfect for a batch of homemade sauerkraut or coleslaw but they are also great for sauteing or roasting.
Now that all of our prepared rows are planted, the focus can shift from transplanting to maintenance. This involves everyone’s favorite farm chore: weeding! This season’s most prolific weed appears to be henbit. The easiest and most efficient way to handle this task involves either a scuffle hoe or a wheel hoe. The differences between the two are that the wheel hoe can cover a broader twelve-inch area in one sweep and is attached to a wheel that allows for more control and faster movement. Our goal is to eradicate weeds before they are able to go to seed in order to slowly deplete the weed seed bank in the soil.
The first week of the new year prompted a deep-clean in our animal pens. Since we employ the deep litter method in both the chicken and the goat pens, maintenance involves periodic turning of the mulch due to its tendency to compact quite easily. Our chickens love sticking around for this chore as it often turns up errant seeds or insects they can snack on. And, they love the opportunity to scratch around in the loosened mulch.