News from the Farm | February 6, 2023

Last week we found ourself facing a classic winter scenario; there was rain in the forecast, though the forecasts kept shifting, and lots of transplanting to do. In addition to lots of weeding. But – we had horribly strong winds early in the week with very cold morning temperatures forecast for later in the week. Wind and cold temperatures aren’t good for vulnerable young transplants. So it meant lots of weeding in the wind early in the week and then an (almost) all hands on deck effort to transplant on Wednesday and Thursday after temperatures warmed up enough.  

And we got it done before the rain on Thursday night and Friday morning! Fennel, kale, four varieties of lettuce, two types of cabbage, collards, and lots of flowers all made it in the ground. The flowers were transplanted by hand and the vegetables were transplanted with a tractor (more details on how we transplant here and here). And we did some direct seeding too – check out the video of carrot planting in action.

Potato lovers rejoice: we just got our delivery of new seed potatoes! 20,000 pound of potatoes, six varieties. While potato plants do create seeds, no one plants potato seeds to get a potato crop, we plant seed potatoes. A seed potato is a potato explicitly grown to be cut into sections, or planted whole. Sprouts will grow from the eyes, and soon enough, we’ll have new potato plants and a new crop of potatoes to harvest.

We could save part of our potato crop to plant the next season, but we don’t. Seed potatoes must be be certified to be free from potential crop-destroying diseases or pests (there are regulations about the conditions they must meet) which wouldn’t necessarily be the case if we saved our own.

So we plant potatoes to get potatoes, similar to how we plant garlic gloves to get heads of garlic. Fun fact: sweet potatoes are grown differently – you sprout the potatoes, then remove the sprouts (called slips) and plant those, not the potatoes themselves (more on growing them here).

We’ve got lots more transplanting in our future. In addition to the potatoes, we’ve spent the past month seeding in our greenhouses, including summer crops (tomatoes!!!) and before we know it, those little plants will be ready to go into the field. While working around the rain and wet field conditions can make transplanting logistics a little complicated, we’re glad for the rain and hope there’s more in our future.

Elaine Swiedler, CSA Manager