It has been go-time on the farm and I nearly forgot to update everyone about what’s been happening now that spring has sprung! We have been busy preparing new beds, seeding, planting, weeding, and installing irrigation day in and day out. After a brief dry spell in March, we were able to plant out a good portion of our earliest crops including fava beans, yukon blush potatoes, red russian kale, rainbow chard, onions, and leeks.
To prepare our beds, we disc the field with a tractor to turn in our cover crops, adding much needed nitrogen to the soil. We then add organic amendments such as gypsum, feather meal, and compost, before using a broadfork to loosen our subsoil and then a small walk-behind tractor called a BCS to create our final seed bed.
When the soil is wet, we are unable to bring equipment into our fields due to the risk of getting the tractor stuck--or worse-- creating soil compaction! The long duration of rain during the end of March and start of April created a bit of a road block for Portland farmers, but we finally managed to get back on track thanks to our warm weather last week. During the past several days, we planted our first successions of broccoli, fennel, lettuce, red & chioggia beets, kohlrabi, and direct seeded carrots.
While the rain may have kept us from planting out in the field, it did not manage to slow us down much as spring keeps us busy with plenty of greenhouse work. We have been sowing bok choy, lettuce, cucumbers, summer squash, herbs, and more. In addition, we’ve been caring for our peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants, all of which belong to the solanaceous family and tend to spend the most time in the greenhouse. Meanwhile, I’ve been working diligently to keep our planted beds as weed-free as possible.
We’re looking forward to having a crew of volunteers from OHSU School of Medicine out next weekend to help us plant out our red potatoes, more broccoli, and herbs. The CSA is still on track to begin on Friday June 14 at RLSB on SW Moody from 3:30-5:30pm. We can’t wait to begin harvesting!
Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram at heart_and_spade_farms and Facebook to see photos from the farm, and stay tuned for more updates as we approach the start of our share pickups!