Saturday, April 25, 2015

Waterworks 2.0 & Planting Time

This past week marked the beginning of seeding and transplanting in the field, which also meant getting the irrigation up and going. We have changed up our irrigation system and are thrilled at the upgrade. 

We went from a 1" header line (the past few years) to a 1.5" oval hose header. The other change we made was moving from one long section of header, serving the entire field, to three sections. The result we are seeing is better and more consistently even pressure.

Oval hose header line.
Above is a photo of the oval hose header line. When filled it is perfectly round, then flattens to an oval shape when not in use. As soon as we began seeding we began watering, then we were also blessed with 0.15" of rain - happy seeds, happy farmers!

Irrigating the peas.
As always the peas were first to get planted. Snow, snap and shell peas are all in. The first successions of spinach, beets, carrots and kohlrabi were also seeded. Then the first transplants went out - lettuce!

Webb's Wonderful, heirloom lettuce transplants.
The first succession of lettuce is started inside and transplanted out. The second succession of lettuce was direct seeded into the field at the same time. The wood in the photo above is my super handy dandy measuring stick. The most basic tool, but it saves me a lot of time. On one side it has 10" increments, the other has 6" increments.

Winter Density, heirloom lettuce transplants.

The lettuce was planted with Purple Cow Organics Activated Compost, protected with a can and watered in. We use the cans for establishment, for about a week, because it's a bit windy out on the prairie. The lettuce was grown in open flats, which works pretty awesome, but I may try soil blocks in the future, as a comparison, since we will have more room with the new greenhouse.

Farm dog Hazel.
Pullets at 12 weeks.
The little kids started using the big kid feed trough this week - glad they finally discovered it and got up enough gumption to try it out!

At the end of the week John was able to take a mini farm trip down to visit Hoch Orchads and check out their orchard plantings, do a little work and get out of town for a night - thanks Harry and Jackie for the hospitality!

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