Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Springtime Transitions

Frost blankets increase night temperatures by 10 degrees.  They are also called low tunnels.

Underneath of them everything is warm, lush, and happy.

We sold the majority, donated all we could to Christian Outreach, and then gave the remainder to some very fortunate local hogs (Charlotte and friends)
Next, I tilled the soil, limed, and fertilized.

I raked the soil into beds.

Amanda and I put down black plastic on the beds and white fabric on the aisles.  These are great weed barriers against my nemesis Bermudagrass.

Looks different huh?  Time for spring tomatoes, peppers, squash, and cucumbers. 
Not to mention hundreds of transplants, hanging baskets, and perennials.

Thank You Virginia State University!

I would like to give a special thanks to Clif Slade and Virginia State University for installing 12 rows or roughly 3500 square feet of plastic and irrigation.  Clif brought out a tractor, plastic layer, and two extremely knowledgable professionals to install the plastic and within a matter of hours it was done. 

Last year Amanda and I installed the same amount of plastic by hand but it took over a hundred hours.  This year it took two hours.  This has free'd up days of labor to spend on high tunnel production, seeding, and market development. 

Thank you once again Clif and VSU. 
Here is a video of the plastic layer in action.

The plastic layer installs 2 lines of drip tape irrigation underneath of the plastic as it goes. 

Half of the plastic is white and half is black.  The black will be used to heat the soil for early vegetable planting.  Vegetables that don't like their roots to get to hot will be planted on white plastic.  I will also be able to do experiments on each. 

Shout out to Michael, Charlie, Coon Dog, and Kilby!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Winter Production

Our high tunnel has been very good to us these past couple of months.  We are thankful for all the delicousness that has come out of it!

Green Onions, Baby Carrots, Bok Choy!
The carrots are still growing - hopefully they'll fill out a bit more before it's time to be out with the old and in with the new tomatoes that we have growing from seed in our kitchen!

Green Onions - delcious on baked potatoes...or better yet, Nachos!

Getting Pots Ready for Spring!

First, bust open the bag of compressed growing substrate.

It's pretty hydrophobic when it's compacted.

I water it in, Jake busts it up with a shovel.


I organize the pots & trays.

He fills them up, just right!

Now they're all ready for the perennials - that'll happen later this month!