Around the farm this week

tool clinic with Kate

Kate gave the farm crew a thorough hand tool clinic. We focus on ergonomics and expended energy because we do all of our cultivating and harvesting by hand. This ensures high quality food and is also very tiring, so we’re always looking for new and better hand tools to help with those weeds. We learned proper care, use, and body position for hula hoes (stirrup hoes), co-linear hoes, and wheel hoes. (Henry wasn’t paying attention because he feels like he’s been through the clinic plenty of times, but there really is always a new tip to pick up.)


Mekala planning in greenhouse
Mekala is planning deer fencing while keeping an eye on your future tomatoes and pepppers; they’re just baby plants right now and they are just as fussy as Goldilocks. They want to be not too hot, not too cold, not too humid, not too dry, not too windy, but with enough air circulation. They are loving life so far! Last year the deer wrecked so much havoc. They destroyed the field tomatoes and it was a constant battle to harvest the radicchio and other chicories before they ate them first. Mekala and Kate are planning a  3D fencing system, modeled after our farmer friend Jeff Benton’s set-up at Orange Circle Farm. Mekala is drawing field maps and measuring how much we need and where the entrances will go for the tractor and field crew.


Ladybugs eating aphids

We’ve had an infestation of aphids in the Big House. Aphids cause a lot of damage and multiply rapidly. Since we’re planting more tender greens into that house, with tomato plants going in there in a few months, we really needed to get control of them. Kate ordered Ladybugs and Aphidoletes – beneficial insect predators – to eat up those aphids.


Amber, Mekala, Paper Pot transplanter

We’ve been working with our new Paper Pot transplanter. Since we plant a big planting of lettuces and other greens every week for you, we are excited by the potential this hand tool has for us. It creates a furrow for the seedlings, drops them in at the correct spacing, then covers them back up. In our trials with it, we are getting used to what size seedling works best, what settings to use on the tool, and how to use it most effectively. Mekala and Amber give it a thumbs up.