April on the Farm

A significant portion of my time as a farm manager is spent making to-do lists.  For the crew’s next day, week, or month of work.  For our purchases.  For repairs.  For emails I have to send.  The lists are occasionally in my head, but are almost always on paper, and now sometimes on GoogleDocs.

To celebrate all of the wonderful things that we have accomplished here on the farm this past month, I would like to share with you a most-of-what-we-have-done list.  Some items on this list are triumphs, big or small, while others are just the facts.

  • Planted ACRES of veggies, in the form of seed or transplants, out into the fields. Includes: potatoes, onions, shallots, scallions, strawberries, lettuce, kale, collards, chard, carrots, turnips, broccoli, cabbage, Napa cabbage, kohlrabi, peas, radishes, fava beans, arugula, beets, fennel, parsnips, cilantro and dill.
  • Covered about an acre of the farm in row cover.
  • In the greenhouse, we have seeded at least one succession of pretty much every crop that we can start in the greenhouse, with the exception of melons and winter squash.
  • Got some early cover crops down.  We have planted about 4 acres of peas and oats to help fix nitrogen and add organic matter to the soil before we put our tomatoes and other nightshades in come June.
  • Purchased several tons of compost, and spread about half of it in the flower garden and in our new strawberry field.
  • Crossed Route 20 a collective 500 times, at least.
  • Started work with a high school senior from the Winsor School who is completing her senior project on the farm.
  • With the education staff, we led a group of 25 freshman from the Rivers School in planting 5000 strawberries in 2 hours!
  • Our open volunteer days started!
  • Swiftly diagnosed an infestation of onion maggots in some of our alliums.
  • Made numerous repairs to our large disc harrow.
  • Gave our Hi-Boy Cub tractor  a tune up.
  • As a crew, have eaten at least a dozen bags of chips. All kinds of chips.
  • We started cultivating to knock out weeds in between our rows of crops using our Allis Chalmers G and the toolbar on our larger tractor.
  • Took 5 educational crop walks as a crew.
  • Put deer fence up around 8 acres worth of crops.
  • Successfully kept rodent damage to a minimum in our greenhouse.

Next month (June) we will add running the stand, harvesting and weeding to the field prep, planting, supervising and pest control.  Also, our crew size will double! The farm season hustle is only just beginning.

Over and out,

Melanie Hardy, Farm Manager at Land’s Sake Farm.