This morning we awoke to lightening galore and impending storms. We received two inches before Gavin left for school, and thankfully, many of our cover cropped fields (as pictured above) readily absorbed this rain. These crops cover the ground sending their roots deep into the soil adding nitrogen to the soil while holding soils in place which is particularly important with significant rainfalls like this morning's storm.
While the plants do their work, Jeff and Tyler planned our much needed hoop house recovering project last week. Recovering a hoophouse means that we need to cut off the previous, weathered plastic and replace it (very carefully) with new, delicate plastic. Jeff and Tyler make sure we have the necessary tools and equipment, team members and timing, seeking out the ideal weather conditions, to ensure everyone's safety and a successful recovering.
"Delicate" was the operative word for this project, as we still have a variety of late summer crops (peppers, ginger) and newly seeded fall crops in the hoophouse.
Last Thursday morning's winds were very calm and provided the perfect opportunity. After a few early morning projects, everyone headed to the hoophouse to help with the recovering effort. The roof is a single, extremely large piece of plastic which can easily tear. One team stands on north side of the structure and another on the south side, and they both gentle pull the plastic over with the aid of ropes and tennis balls.
The team pulls in perfect union to make sure the plastic was equally distributed over the skeleton of the house.
Jeff and Tyler work feverishly to tuck the plastic into place before any wind appears. Even a small, poorly timed gust can wreak havoc so working quickly is key!
Once complete, Jeff takes one last look over the top of the structure to ensure everything looks secure.
With a job well done, we breathe a sigh of relief! The team heads to a well earned lunch break and afterwards, we begin seeding the winter crops. These tiny greens will live in our greenhouse until they are ready to be planted inside their winter hoophouse home.
Your farmers, Jeff, Jen and our farm crew
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
Abby Klug recommended Fredonia Grapes for this week's fruit shares. They are an early concord, with dark blue skin and small edible seeds which make them a nice table grape or base for grape juice. They store best when refrigerated with circulation (e.g., keep a plastic bag open or within a bowl or pint box).
Arugulais a favorite, albeit very delicate, crop that makes an appearance in spring and fall time. We've included in shares again this week as this succession was particularly successful. The leaf size is perfect for a quick sauté or chopped into salads, soups, sandwiches, or sprinkled on top of grilled pizzas.