Friday, March 13, 2015

The Season for Seeds

2-day old Onion starts
Nothing like a little sunshine and a few days above freezing to get everyone in a great mood to farm. For us, the season has officially begun. With the tiniest of movements: Seeding. The seeding season always begins the first week of March with seeding onions and celery. We seed in March and harvest the crops in August-September, although last season we harvested the long-growing celery in October! Putting those tiny seeds in the soil brings a mixture of hope and reality. Hope for a great growing season and bountiful crop. Reality that the plans are set, and now it is time to carry out the actions to nurture another bountiful crop. Onions and celery seeds always take a week or two to show, so there's a lot of time for hope and reality to mix.

The break in weather has given us time to work on the seeding hoophouse. We are framing the ends now. If we have a calm day next week, we will cover with greenhouse plastic. It will be double- insulated so we can control the temps inside to grow healthy strong seedlings. Once the sides and plastic are on, the onion and celery starts will be the first trays to move into the new home (and out of our kitchen and dining room).

Building sides to the Seed Hoophouse
We are expanding every year and 2015 is no different. Our goal is 100 members in our CSA (Halfway there!) and enough for the Lockport Community Market and local restaurants. That's a lot of seeding! To make more efficient use of our time, Rich made a vacuum wand seeder. Using the suction from a household vacuum cleaner attached to this PVC wand, he picks up seeds on the end of each nozzle. Then, he moves the wand into place above seed tray, releases the suction, and gently taps the seeds into their holes. The dibbler in the corner of the photo helps us prepare several holes at a time. This method is a big time-saver already!

Dibbler + Vacuum Seeder Wand = Time Saved!
Come Chat With Us
Bree had a great time taking with the Lockport College Women's Club and the Lockport Rotary Club this past week. We have a couple more speaking engagements in March, if you want to hear us share our story and the history of the farm. Rich will be at the Niagara County Genealogical Society on Wednesday, March 25, 7pm. For the Delphi employees, we will have a informational booth at Delphi on March 30, 10-2pm. 

As winter breaks, we take a deep breath, look around and marvel that this old farm will once again take us through another growing season. We are privileged to be the stewards of this small piece of Earth. And when the winter gets to us a little bit, just think: Fresh vegetables will be here before we know it!

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