Winter frosts are over (fingers crossed) and we've begun planting this year's crops on Sprouting Farm, our certified organic farm in Woodinville, WA. Our farm manager Ethan gives us the low down:
Kale and lettuce mix will be direct seeded every 14 to 18 days. They'll grow more quickly during the heat of the summer and the interval between planting and harvest should be between 40 and 60 days for both crops.
Cherry tomatoes will be planted next. We'll grow two different varieties; Super Sweet 100s and Sungold. These two varieties grow well in the Northwest, and produce quality fruit. We've already planted many of these in flats in our greenhouse. We'll plant them in the field in mid-May. It's colder out on the farm than it is in Seattle, so we keep them indoors until then. This means that we have to be Harvest will most likely start in late July and continue through August. Tomatoes like hot weather, and if it's a cold season we may not be harvesting as long.
The last crop is cucumbers, which have been started in the greenhouse as well. There are a number of varieties including Shuyo and Tasty Jade. These were planted in flats two weeks ago and will be repotted into larger containers in another few weeks once they are too big for the flats. The field planting and harvesting schedule for cucumbers will be roughly the same as tomatoes.
It should be a great season! Check back here for posts throughout the growing season to learn more about our farm and many helpful growing tips for your own garden.
We're spicing up the spring season with our new Spicy Italian sandwich. It features Calabrese Italian salami from Creminelli Fine Meats, made from antibiotic-free, heritage pork. For extra spice and flavor, we're topping each sandwich with Portland's own Mama Lil's hot peppers.
Spicy Italian smoked ham, spicy salami, mama lil's hot peppers, greens + balsamic $5 half / $10 whole
Add Fresh Mozzarella (recommended!) $1 half / $2 whole
The past few weeks in Seattle have been unseasonably cold and it's taking a toll on Sprouting Farm. Our Farm Manager, Ethan Bahe, was confronted with a few issues, which lead to some innovative solutions.
"The lowest temperatures of the season have completely changed how the farm looks and how we work the land. We had to move start time back to 10:00AM because everything was frozen at the normal 6:30AM start. The water to the entire farm had to be shut down while we tended to a burst pipe. We were able to harvest everything quickly at the farm and then wash it at another location.
Unfortunately, due to the freeze, we did lose some plantings of lettuce. Our plans for next year include the installation of some greenhouses out at the farm where we will be able to grow the greens longer into the winter where the temperature and moisture can be more controlled.
This week we kicked off a Barnraiser campaign for the farm. Barnraiser is a crowd-funding website, similar to Kickstarter, but aimed at sustainable food production. It's an amazing site and we're hoping to use it to put build two large greenhouses out at the farm.
One greenhouse would give us space to house a larger and more efficient wash and pack area for produce, and the other would allow us to more effectively grow produce earlier in the spring and later into the fall and winter. Please share the campaign and help us expand our ability to deliver fresh, organic and sustainably farmed food to the Homegrown kitchens!"