Monday, February 28, 2011

a rainy day

As some of you know I am one of those people my age that every few years moves someplace new (I am hoping this is changing), not out of restlessness, just happenstance.  I moved just over a year ago from Tucson, AZ which has challenges for a person trying to grow food but also some benefits.  An obvious benefit of Tucson is ample sun. Less obvious but akin to sun is the ability to dig into your soil to prepare beds for planting most anytime. I now live in the northwest. I'm trying (but failing) not to sound cliche as I complain. It's cold and it's raining. And for the sake of the soil, I can't go out digging in this weather.  Maybe I am too anxious to get going this season.  Maybe living in this climate is teaching me patience. And giving me an appreciation for water.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

february update

It has been brought to my attention that I haven't updated in a few weeks... it isn't that nothing has been happening,but maybe because so much has been happening that I haven't written! Let's see... where to begin? 
It is often good to begin with a plan and I am trying my hardest to start with one: what to grow, where and when to grow it, how long will it be there, how much will be harvested, what do people want, direct seed or start in the greenhouse, succession plantings... and on and on. For anyone who thinks it's just about putting seeds in the ground, it is actually.  But we can make it as complicated as we want and if we are trying to make a business of farming on a small lot it's got to be complicated. I keep telling myself that it's like a puzzle and that I love puzzles! 

With planning comes buying seed which is always fun.  Some fun varieties that I've purchased: Atomic Red Carrot from Baker Creek Seeds,  Bulgarian Carrot Pepper from Territorial Seeds, Freedom Lettuce Mix from Wild Garden Seed, and Turkey Craw Bean form Seed Savers Exchange- which is said that the original seed was found in a wild turkey craw!  amazing. Jeff would not let me pass this seed up.

Jordan, a lovely volunteer, standing by the completely weeded beds!
What else?  I've been extremely fortunate to have great volunteers.  Together we've been weeding (always- the grass has been treacherous) seeding in flats and under the plastic tunnels, digging new beds, doing greenhouse maintenance, and weeding- wait, I said that already, but it deserves to be mentioned twice!

seeds in flats keeping warm in our home

Last week, Jasmine, Eric, Jeff and I began seeding brassicas and onions in flats.  We are keeping the flats in our house until the seedlings emerge and then transferring them to the greenhouse where they can continue to grow.  We are doing this transfer because our greenhouse is unheated and the seeds need no light but more warmth to germinate and once germinated need more light and can tolerate less warmth. As I write today, many seeds have germinated and will be moved.

the greenhouse where all the seedling will soon live.

There is so much more to write! I will write soon about the Food Justice Conference from which I just returned last night.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

first harvest!

Green Wave mustards before harvest
That's right! Blue House Greenhouse Farm had it's first harvest on January 27, 2011.  We harvested three and a half pounds of salad greens- a mix of a rocky top lettuce, tatsoi, and green wave mustards (to add some spice!).

washing salad greens!

It was mainly a test harvest to see how the crops tasted after a few months spent under plastic.  We've eaten a lot of the salad mix and in my biased opinion it is delicious!

Anna, our first customer! 

I even sold a few half pound bags of salad mix to friends. So it was also the first produce sale for Blue House Greenhouse Farm!  We are a small business now! Thanks friends!