Intent: As my second year focus I chose the Greenhouse Element because it seems to me that it is the foundation of everything that springs forth during the farm season and therefore the management thereof is essential to an efficient and productive year. While there is an obvious standard operating procedure for greenhouse duties, my initial observation is that none of it has been converted into the form of a manual, or written record. My intent is to document the procedures and processes of greenhouse management on North Slope Farm that have been implemented for years and have stood the test of time in order to facilitate the educational process for trainees to be able to reference and at the same time help me to acquire and increase my own personal knowledge of the element which prior to this year was lacking.
Task and Responsibilities:
- Evaluate the crop plan, order required seeds, create order forms for seeding as well as the space required to accommodate these orders.
- Daily observations of temperature in seedling greenhouse, proper venting, proper heating including germination tables and minimum twice a day watering.
- From seedling greenhouse plants should be rotated out to harden off before being planted in the field. Space is the primary limiting factor.
- Insuring that market seedling orders are accommodated by extrapolating needs based on prior year data. An availability sheet with very little available seedlings for sale is tantamount to lost revenue.
- Proper planning based on crop plan needs and market needs can help reduce crop/seedling losses by insuring all available plants go to market or get planted before they have a chance to wither and die in the greenhouse or during hardening off period. This means making sure the potting on orders are met before seedlings get to big for smaller trays, etc., as well as insuring wholesale and market orders are met with sufficient availability.
- Crop plans change based on crop losses and weather conditions. Therefore, the ability to alter greenhouse plans and be proactive with changing crop plans/greenhouse plans is paramount and can significantly increase productivity and efficiency and drastically reduce waste and loss percentages.