preparing for spring

17-guage chain link fence top rail. For a planned 50-foot hoop house.

We have a few new / different things going on as we start gearing up for spring season…

The herb dabbling that we started this past summer has started to bear fruit via market sales, and so far, the feedback has been positive. We were initially bringing basil in small pots that were maybe 2″ square (technically 1020 tray inserts called 3601s). Those proved to be too small for the size of the plants… the basil would grow fairly tall, and the whole thing would be really unstable and frequently fall over, etc. So we potted up to 3.25″ square trays (called 1801s) and will soon be evolving to 4″ round pots. Anyway, the feedback has been good, and we’ve been selling out of the basil in these larger containers. And we’re also bringing cilantro now and that has been positive. So game on with herb pots as we move into spring.

We’ve also started offering “garden starters” at the market. These are those small 2″ pots that I mentioned above, but they contain single plants intended for transplanting into garden beds (or potting up and growing indoors). These are generally the same plants that we’re growing ourselves right now in the garden. All of the various salad mix veggies, plus others. In the coming weeks, we’ll be adding tomatoes and maybe eggplant to the starter lineup.

We’ve been gathering materials with intent to build a 50-foot hoop house for our tomato, cucumber, and eggplant production over the summer. Given that we’ll need to plant tomatoes late April / early May, I need to get off the couch and build this thing before too long. We obtained 38 10-foot chain link fence top rail pieces (pictured) and will need to bend them via a homemade jig (I think that’s the appropriate term). The hoop house will be on the order of 12 feet wide and will have probably 3 raised beds in it (2 for tomatoes, 1 for cukes and eggplant). There are companies that offer kits for this sort of thing, but I’m hoping that we can DIY this our own way at a cheaper cost. Probability of the hoop house blowing off its moorings and across the yard sometime this year is, by my estimate, on the order of 50%. We’ll see what happens!

Per our understanding, there are three more winter market dates (3/20, 3/27, 4/3), and then we transition to the main season market beginning 4/10. The winter market is still in the Harris Pavilion and runs from 9am – 1pm. The main season market will likely be back at the commuter parking lot across from Baldwin Elementary and run from 8am – 1pm (we’ll let you know if that ends up not being the case).

Thanks as always and hope to see you soon!

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