Seed Starting Days!

We've been busy starting seeds in the anticipation of it getting warmer at some point!  It's been so dreary, we decided to make a big mess in the hallway of our house and start the seeds there (so the pictures are a bit dark)...


Spring into seeding!





Today is weird.  First, it was almost 60.  Then it snowed for ten minutes, but didn't drop below 50.  Then we had some thunder, but no rain.  Now, for the first time since moving in (a month ago), every windmill is completely still and it's gorgeously sunny.

We can't figure out the weather anymore, so we are just going ahead and farming on (what we think should be) schedule!  While Matt is out looking at tractors by Buffalo, I have had a huge day at the farm... mostly outside(!), working on laying out the fields for the season to work with contours and planting the first round of seeds (in flats, not outside... we are controlling ourselves a little bit).

Starts include head lettuce (one red, one speckled, and one oakleaf), rainbow chard, and 2 types of kale for early farmers markets, 2 broccoli and 2 cabbage varieties for the CSA spring crops, and a whole slew of herbs (sage, thyme, parsley, chives, garlic chives, oregano, cutting celery, and more).

This year is a year of experimentation.  Since we didn't get onto the farm until later than anticipated, we weren't able to get all of the brands/types of supplies we normally use, which is forcing us to be adventurous.  This seems to be a good thing for us, because we are getting increasingly set in our ways, and a bit of shake-up seems like it's always good in a field where adaptability is key!

In particular, we are using an organic, commercial potting soil this year, since we missed the bulk shipping from our normal suppliers.  In 15 years of growing, I've never worked on an operation where I used commercial soil, or soil with peat in it (sorry, environmentalists... but this company does say that their peat is sustainably harvested!).  I was really worried about the new soil but didn't have any to work with until today...  and now I know why all the big organic operations tend to use this stuff.  It's really nice, light, fluffy, and really, really easy.  Like planting took half the time easy.  And it smells good (for whatever that's worth).  So for the first experiment, definite success.  We are using it straight for the early starts, and cutting it with some local, organic compost for the teenage starts.