Field Update: Brassicas in Bloom!

How about we take a little break from profit analysis for a field walk …

We’ve begun seeding and planting in the field. Our first plants go onto ridges. The ridges dry up quicker than the flat ground so we can plant 7-10 days earlier even if the field is wet.  As the picture above can attest, the ridges are  a bit over kill this year. It has been a dry winter and now a dry spring. In fact, with the seeds and seedlings in the ground, we are starting to think about looking for rain. I am hesitant to all out  afraid to pray for the weather to change though. It is easy to get a little too much of what you ask for.

Rhubarb is up! Asparagus (not shown) are just peeking their little purple heads out.

It seems the season is 8-9 days ahead of schedule. Other growers in our area are also saying this.

In the field tunnel, Brassicas rapas are happening. The tunnel micro-climate seems to be accentuating the early season. These guys are almost finished flowering. That is 2-3 weeks ahead of time for our overwintered Brassicas.

“The best show in town!”

Emily actually said this but I think this fat little bumblebee would agree. Can you see the skinny seed pods in the picture? I wouldn’t be surprised if I harvest seed from these plants by the first week of June.

Not all Brassicas flower at the same time though. The kales are just starting to bud up. We cut the first flower stalks and sell them as Kale Raab.

These Chard were direct seeded in mid-September. By December, they were only a few inches high. They have overwintered successfully and are taking off now. Like most of the other greens, I thinned these guys out to give them more room for when they turn into monster flowering plants. (I wrote about seed crop spacing here)

And with all this action in the tunnel, and the sunny  and the warm evenings we’ve been having (as in no hard freezes), we finally  got around to removing the plastic from the tunnel:

We start by unscrewing the wood pieces that hold the plastic on the endwalls.

Next, we pull the buried plastic edges out of the ground. Make sure to bend with your knees.

Pull back the plastic and voila! Brassicas are free!!!

We leave the arches in place for another week or so. Later, we will move them to another location to house summer tomatoes. We are going to be building more arches this May. When we do I will share some pictures.

Shortly, we will get back to  seed profitability.

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