The main market season is fully underway and we’re up to our elbows in farm activities these days. The latest highlights:
- The past couple months have been hoop house mania for us. We completed the 16’x50′ lettuce hoop house (sans end walls) in mid-March, and then finally got some real-deal end walls up on the 12’x50′ tomato house. (The end wall attempt that we put up in October 2021 didn’t survive the winter.) The tomato house is fairly well sealed now and gets super toasty when the sun is out. Over 120 F some days! We’ve had to keep the doors open on it to ventilate mid-day.
- We’ve been planting tomatoes earlier this year (due to aforementioned sealed hoop house). Last year, I think our first planting was May 8 or so… this year, April 20. So we’re hoping that with the warmer average temps in the hoop house plus the earlier planting, we’ll have tomato half pints available at the market some number of weeks earlier this year vs. last. We brought our first tomatoes to market July 31 last year, so, who knows, maybe early July, if not June this year? We’ll hope for the best and keep you posted.
- A much wider selection of potted herbs this time of year vs. last. Currently bringing 16 different varieties of herbs! We grow these inside alongside our microgreens, and it can be a challenge sometimes trying to find rack space for everything. Some form of outbuilding grow room has been on our wish list for the past couple years, and that may be increasing in priority.
- Chickens and ducks have been fairly productive so far this year. We did our annual soil testing of various areas of the farm, one being the bird pens. The pens have been increasing their levels of… just about every nutrient category… over these past few years. The grass is literally greener in their pens. While this is probably fine and welcome for now, I do worry about too much of a good thing over the long term. We want to keep nutrient levels, etc all within bounds. So we may consider moving the whole setup maybe sometime later this year(?)
Hope to see you at the market soon! As always, our primary sales outlet is the Manassas farmer’s market on Saturdays (8am – 1pm). We plan to be there basically every week until Thanksgiving (give or take).