staying busy with spring plantings

200 cells of salad greens, ready for the garden

The Manassas farmer’s market is still in pre-order-only mode and we continue to go every week. Many thanks to all of the people who have ordered through us. A lot of repeat customers, as well, which is great. Meanwhile, we have a lot going on in the garden these days…

We’re holding steady, if not slightly increasing, the amount of salad mix that we have available each week. We’ve altered our harvesting strategy in an effort to try to get more product. Initially, our approach was to just harvest each plant whole, leaving nothing behind to regrow, and then plant a new batch of transplants in that same spot shortly thereafter. That approach maximized what we could get from that bed on the given week, but then it’d be another 3-5 weeks before we’d be able to get another harvest from the bed.

Our new approach is to harvest Dowding style, taking only the more mature outer leaves of each plant, leaving the inner actively-growing leaves undisturbed. We’re hoping this means that we could return to that bed a week or two later to get more product. So far, we think this is proving to be the case, but it’s still a bit early to know for sure. This method is a bit more labor intensive in terms of harvesting time (albeit lower planting frequency so maybe it’s a wash?), but hopefully means we can get more product to the market faster.

First batch of peanuts went from our grow rack to the garden on May 10, and we’ll be sowing a new batch in the grow room on the 15th. The plan is to do three batches in total so that we’ll ideally have peanuts available at the market from mid-August through mid-November.

Tomatoes were sown in the grow room on April 11 and will be going into the ground this coming weekend. We’re planning to put up a makeshift greenhouse to shelter these guys. Over a year ago, I bought a beat up, discounted “garage in a box” from Tractor Supply. It sat in storage for a long while, but we eventually dusted it off and built-out the frame. Our plan is to secure polyethylene plastic to it via wiggle wire and channel lock, and then plant the tomatoes underneath. We’ll see how that goes.

Still chugging away as usual with microgreens and eggs. Eggs continue to sell out every week (both duck and chicken, though chicken seems to be in higher demand). We’re grateful for all the community support in the face of current circumstances.

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