Thanks to all who came out to our first markets of the season! It’s great to be back in the swing of “slingin’ vegetables”! From one week to the next we went from wearing coats, hats and gloves, to sweating just standing still under the tent. We must be in New England.
With the 90+ degree days this weekend, we have been laying out our irrigation hoses and drip tape as fast as we can to keep the plants going. We use primarily drip tape which allows us to conserve water by only dripping it right by the plant’s roots. It also means that the foliage stays dry which helps keep fungal diseases off the plants. Certain crops like lettuce mix and arugula are “direct seeded”, meaning we put the seeds directly into the ground instead of starting them as plugs in the greenhouse. Those direct seeded crops need to stay moist until they germinate. To achieve this we run a line of small 12-inch-tall sprinklers down the beds, and saturate the soil every day until we see them sprout. It’s quite a system that, as a whole, amounts to quite the labyrinth of hoses running all throughout our field. This week we are teaching the crew how to lay the lines, time the irrigation, listen for leaks and patch them. This is in addition to learning to prune tomatoes, wash and pack veggies for market, stake peas, feed goats and chickens, water the green house, etc, etc, etc. I remember the frantic learning overload of my first few weeks as an apprentice in Maine. What a whirlwind! We appreciate them hanging in there and learning along with us.