This Spring has been a strange one for farming. It started very, very dry and warm in March and went into a super chilly April with rain to the rescue only at the end. Everyone, including myself, started most things in the ground a week or two earlier than normal and were excited about the warm beginning. In record taking history this has been the first year ever that March was warmer than April. The cold snap slowed down the vegetable that are in the soil. I am hoping for a warm, sunny May with occasional rain!
This is the first year I am growing on this parcel of land. I purchased it last Fall and it has been hayed for the last 60 years and before that it wasa sustenance farm. My neighbor grew up on it and is excited for what I am doing. One of the possible buyers wanted to turn it into a parking lot! The soil is incredible and there is a wonderful creek for my irrigation needs. But there are many, many rocks. So far, this Spring, most of my time has been spent rock picking. Well, my back can take 4 hours a day doing it.
To get the soil prepped and the grounds ready I started with a soil test to know what I needed to add for minerals. I spread a ton of lime on by hand to get the pH correct. I hired a local man to plow and then in the Spring to disc it. It was tricky to cut up the sod with the disc (which is a tool that looks like a bunch of large metal discs being drug behind a tractor, cutting up the ground, and smoothing it out) because all the rocks were preventing the tool from hitting the ground! He did the best he could. So when I make a bed for planting the first steps are to take the large rocks and large pieces of sod out. I installed a deer fence that is 8 feet tall so the critters might go elsewhere for their food.
So far in the ground I have the following: sugar snap peas, broccoli raab, lettuce mix, radicchio, 3 types of cabbages, broccoli, arugula, komatsuna, cilantro, dill, mesclun mix, radish, Japanese turnips, head lettuce, kohl rabi, scallions, onions, escarole, beets, carrots, kale, chard and potatoes. Now they all need to GROW!!!