Thursday, June 3, 2010

Loose Ends

Last Thursday, Tom, Adam and I (Bonnie) headed down to the Mill to finish construction on our high tunnel. We plan to employ micro-irrigation as we grow fancy peppers, tomatoes, a crop of fall green beans, and strawberries. Our primary goal is to learn more about growing and selling the peppers. Our secondary goal with the rest of the crops (at this time of the year) is season extension. The tunnel was covered last fall and no moisture has touched the ground since then; the soil is powdery dry. To repeat the sentiments of Gary Rapking, the Extension agent in Upshur County, 'the climate in the tunnel is arid'.

The work on the tunnel consisted of finishing the ends and installing some supports. After a couple of long hot days, the high tunnel was complete and ready for planting. We will next have to develop a pest management plan to keep the deer and groundhogs away from our plants this season. The team decided one logical solution would be to wire hog panels to the sides of the tunnel.

Last Friday after completing the tunnel, we also did a lot more planting and tilling. After doing the usual maintenance, weeding, and watering on the other crops, rows were tilled for seeding. We used our new lettuce seeder pictured to the side. The seeder allows planting for up to six rows. Our first application was to plant spinach. Tom and Adam are pictured below using the seeder.

Talk to you soon,

The Small Farm Center Team

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