Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Women Infant Children

Today someone from the PA department of Agriculture came to make sure I was growing food so he could approve me to accept WIC checks. Approved!! Starting in June (which I guess is when they start giving them out) we will be accepting WIC farmers market checks at our stand. I even get my very own stamp with my very own vendor number on it. This operation is just getting more and more legitimate (and cost prohibitive?) by the day.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Mulching first, then planting is the best idea I've had in a while. It's a huge time saver.
For example, I used to plant a tray of peppers into bare soil, align the irrigation perfectly, then put salt hay down in between and around all of the plants, careful not to cover up their stems. Today, I laid salt hay over the entire bed and irrigation lines, then simply put the pepper into the hay, brushing excess hay out of the way with my hand. This is probably something a lot of people do. It takes me a while to get a good system down.

Revision: It's 2013 now, and I've changed my mind about this whole issue. I was really excited about this at the time, because it meant that I didn't have to reach around the plants with tiny stacks of straw, tucking it under leaves and getting it all over the place. However, pre-mulching the bed presents a problem that I think is bigger than the one it solves: irrigation. All of the irrigation is below the mulch. If I turn the drip line on at the time of planting, and I wait to mulch, I can plant each head of lettuce exactly at a drip site, so that each plant is being irrigated directly. If I mulch first, I can't see the drip so I can't plant accordingly. I should mention that my drip system is not so great, and if a plant is a few inches off the hole, it might suffer. So, back to old systems I guess. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

It's time to get the bird netting out, apparently. I didn't expect to see this little guy so early. I couldn't bring myself to pick it, because it did have a little more ripening to do, but I'm afraid that may have been my only chance- now I'm contending with the birds and the squirrels and I doubt if it will be there by morning. Lucky for me, there are plenty more on the way.
Posted by Picasa