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Thursday, March 28, 2013

The sunshine has been a welcome change this past week! With the snow in our fields mostly melted, we've begun moving implements out of the barn in preparation for seeding our first beets, carrots and peas. The improved weather has also allowed us to work on some outdoor projects like repairing and turning over the soil in our unheated hoophouse (see picture). Stephanie and Jon have been building some sturdy doors, while Ryan started turning over the soil to prepare us eventually for planting our first experimental crop of hoophouse tomatoes this spring.

Greenhouse seeding continues apace. This past Monday our greenhouse volunteers may have set a new Appleton Farms record for amount of work accomplished. They seeded 24 trays of fennel, 21 trays of lettuce, 35 trays of scallions, 12 trays of napa cabbage, 47 trays of mini cabbage, 36 trays of kohlrabi, and 17 trays of kale, plus they thinned all of our first fennel planting. Whew! Our crew could barely keep up with coming up with new tasks for our fabulous volunteers to work on!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Field 1, March 20, 2012

Field 1, March 19, 2013
It's hard to believe that this time last year I was outside seeding beets and carrots in a t-shirt! This is a good reminder that every season is unique. What does this cold and snowy March mean for this season's prospects? Probably not much in the long-term, but in the short-term it means that we'll have to wait for the snow to melt and the ground to dry out quite a bit before we can get out in the fields with a tractor. This will likely push back the first beet, carrot and sugar snap pea seedings a couple of weeks, but as long as it warms up in April, these crops could be ready in the shareroom and pick-your-own fields only slightly behind schedule. In the meantime, we're busy seeding away in the greenhouse. Yesterday's volunteers seeded 60 trays of Redwing onions, 21 trays of parsley and 25 trays of shallots. I'm looking forward to some sunny warm(er) days soon so that we can begin to be as productive out in the fields as we have been in the greenhouse!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spring is springing in the greenhouse

King Richard leeks started popping up Monday morning. Pretty soon the inside of the greenhouse will actually be green!

The first couple of weeks in the greenhouse we are busy seeding alliums (onions and leeks), which all have the same tiny black seeds. It can be tedious work, but it's well worth it when you see the green shoots popping up from the trays a week later. Thanks to all the volunteers who showed up Monday morning to seed all 124 trays of our yellow storage onions. This coming Monday we might be seeding red onions, shallots and flowers, as well as hopefully admiring the fruits of our labor from the past 2 weeks.

Monday, March 4, 2013

We had a great turnout today for our first day of seeding in the greenhouse. Thank you to everyone who came out and helped us to seed all of our leeks (plus some of our first fennel planting). Hopefully by next Monday we'll see some green shoots popping up! Next week we begin seeding sweet and mild Ailsa Craig onions, as well as our storage varieties Pontiac and Redwing. If you would like to join us, feel free to email Lise at lholdorf@ttor.org with any questions. We'll be in the greenhouse from 9am - noon every Monday this spring.