Monthly Summary – March 2010
Prepared 3/4/11 RCM
General Observations: Spring is coming. Looking back on last year’s log reminds me of the somewhat chilly start we had: snow on the grown, freezing nights and some windy wet days. But soon the weather began changing and warm temperatures by the afternoon kept our spirits up as the green began appearing. Chickweed salads with the fresh tangy green were enjoyed by crewmembers. Of course this spurt of green growth also meant there was plenty of weeding and such to start off our season and prepare for. Fortunately, after a long winter off, the NSF crew was ready to get our hands dirty again.
Administration 126.5 hours: Numerous ’08 summaries had yet to be finished and posted on the website and the general crop plan for the current season needed to be smoothed out and seeds ordered. A lot of time was spent in the office trying to get ready for the coming season… which on a cold wet day in March can be very pleasant when sitting next to a small heater. There were also bills and payroll to be paid and general organization of farm business.
Infrastructure 67 hours: General repairs on the farm after the winter had to be done. The seed shed foundation was fixed up and stuccoed, helping make the root cellar more efficient, protecting the Insulation Boards. Loose roof panels were repaired, as was damage from the winter and a rain/wind storm to the greenhouses. Power supply line to Greenhouse #1 was protected with Electrical Conduit.
Greenhouse 143.5 hours: First and foremost the heated greenhouse needed to be put in order for spring use. We began to utilize new cowpots (biodegradable) in the greenhouse for seedling sales at market as well as some of our slow-growing veggies like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. March was also the beginning of SEEDING! Lots of trays were prepared for our first succession of planting and seedlings were prepared for selling at market and whole sales vendors such as Whole Earth in Princeton. Everything from kale and swiss chard to nasturtiums and zinnias were being seeded to be ready for the coming spring. New metal flashing sheets were placed on greenhouse cinderblock table legs to help create a slick surface to deter mice from climbing onto the tables and foraging for planted seeds. Ralph’s House Greenhouse was also prepped for planting, beds were cleared and forked and transplanted into. The greenhouses were very busy in March
Composting 14 hours: Lots of sifting compost for our seedling trays.
Planting 44.5 hours: Began planting some perennial Fruits, strawberries, blackberries and asparagus. Also seeded peas.
Crop Care 63 hours: Beds needed to be prepped after the long winter, both in greenhouses and in the field. Everything from clearing beds of weeds, broadforking, rototilling and seeding. There were lots of beds in the tea garden and market garden that had to be cleared. Lettuce grown in the heated greenhouse during the winter was transplanted into a bed in the unheated Ralph’s House. Fruit trees were also pruned.
Harvesting 15 hours:
- Week 1: lettuce and arugula from our heated greenhouse
- Week 2: Kale from unheated greenhouse
- Week 3: Chard and kale from unheated greenhouse
- Week 4: Kale, chard, lettuce and tatsoi
Handling 6 hours: Cleaning products and prepping for our weekly Hopewell market.
Market 46 hours: RC was trained and drove the box truck for the first time to Hopewell Hopewell 3/3 $81, 3/17 $133, 3/24 $206.74, 3/31 $246
Special Projects 36.5 hours: Chickens needed a new traveling coop built for the young 09 girls. Egg washing and finding enough egg buyers in the winter (through wholesale to the Bent Spoon in Princeton).
- Week 1: Snow still covering the ground but days are getting warmer with freezing nights
- Week 2: Beautiful, warm days with rain in the forecast
- Week 3: Rain Storm with some high winds, followed by warm sunny days
- Week 4: Mild temps with rain forecasted, sounds like Spring