Our Farm Market Team Pitches in on the Farm
- posted on: April 1, 2017
- posted by: Robin Crowder
On the first day of March, the 21 Acres Farm Market team spent a very cold and windy morning on the 21 Acres Farm. Most of the fresh produce in our little market comes from just outside our door; a lot grows on our farm–greens, herbs, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, sunchokes, peppers, zucchini, onions, and so much more. Andrew, the new Farm Production Specialist (which is a fancy way of saying he is in charge of everything involved in making the Farm tick), gave us a tour and explained the plans for the upcoming season.
But first, we had some lettuce to seed. Andrew is experimenting with 12 varieties of lettuce this year (including Celtuce which looks like a celery stalk and Merveille des Quatre Saisons which you will need to ask Laurel how to pronounce) and we seeded a full flat of each variety. Depending on how successfully they grow, you may find a new favorite this year. Do you have a variety you particularly love or one that grows well in our climate? Let us know.
To seed each tray, we filled each with a potting medium combining Coco Core and compost. Each seed packet was mixed with a dash of microbial inoculant and were ready to go. If you have never planted lettuce seeds, you need to know they are very small and it’s not easy to get just 2 seeds into each small square of the tray, (especially if you have cold hands). Laurel was exact, Liesl was a natural, and I just tossed in whatever came through my fingers. Would you like an opportunity to get your hands dirty and have some fun on the farm? Volunteer opportunities are available every Saturday — Check here for specifics.
Next, we wandered out of the greenhouse and to the fields. Andrew is implementing some changes on the farm including no-till practices. There are numerous benefits to no-till including erosion control, building soil structure and health, and minimizing fuel and labor costs. 21 Acres is constantly experimenting and researching agricultural techniques in order to lessen our environmental impact. I plan to check out how many worms I can find in the soil this fall.
The fields are wet during this time of year and though the cover crop was seeded late last winter and never fully took hold, there are still signs of life. The garlic is popping up through the straw and the greenhouses are overflowing. Lettuce, kale, and other hardy crops are just starting to be planted outside. Stop by the 21 Acres Farm Market to see what is in season and support local farms. Local food is good for you, your community and our planet. See you soon!
Jen Horner, 21 Acres Farm Market