Brassica and more Brassica!
We've had a few years with some excellent results for our brassica (broccoli, cauliflower, etc) and we would like to continue along those lines. So, what are we doing this season to continue to improve in this area?
|The broccoli has been really tasty!|
Onions and Leeks
Most of these are already seeded and growing in trays. We are hopeful that we can find a way to get these in the ground even earlier than last year so we can get a better crop. We've got some strategies to get the drip tape in a bit sooner and we know the flex tine weeder works now. So, we're feeling pretty good about the possibilities.
We will be trying two new yellow onions in 2015. Sedona is an F1 hybrid storing onion and Dakota Tears is an open pollinated storing onion. We'll trial them against each other and see what we can learn. Otherwise, White Wing, Redwing and Ailsa Craig come back in 2015. Yellow of Parma will sit out until we see how the other yellows do this year. King Richard returns as our leek of choice.
Melons and Watermelons
We planted our entire field of melons in about two thirds of a work day. Now, keep in mind that I am simplifying here. Planting includes things like prepping beds, laying the paper mulch, drip tape, putting in transplants and other things. Also, one work day is the length of time we have workers on the farm.
We plant our transplants by hand and we were doing some research that required some special spacing that took more time. But, the reality is that we want to shorten the planting window so we can hit the optimal planting window with more crops.
We will be running similar melon and watermelon varieties to 2015 this year. We will reevaluate the varieties after this season and determine if changes need to be made after that.
We would like you all to root for our crops.
Oh, sorry. This must be a no punning zone.
Root crops, next to our long season winter squash, have been our biggest challenge on our farm. The early planting timings are often missed because of wet fields. A person can transplant into wetter soils, but seeding in wet soil is a problem. And, if the soil temps are cool, like they've been the past two years, you have other problems with direct seeded crops.
So, in 2015, we've reworked our succession plan for root crops to respond to the issues we've had the last couple of years. We've taken the successful batches and figured out some common themes for them. Similarly, we've identified some common problems for the failed batches of these crops.
Our two goals?
1. To increase our fall root crop capacity and have more storage crops to take us deep into Fall (and perhaps past the first of the following year).
2. To hit the Spring window harder with a single succession and get our cold storage built so we can store the crop for distribution over a longer period of time.
Two things we need to do to make this work?
1. Get that darned walk in cooler built... finally.
2. Improve our techniques for keeping weeds out of these crops.
And there you are! An insight to some of the things we are looking at for 2015.