March! Updates! Health!

First off we are finally pulling out of the influenza epidemic of the past several weeks with all its secondary infections and contagious bouncing around the family.  What a mess.  Thanks again to all the well wishers.  That was the first time we ever accepted meals from Church…

 Garden Updates:

Purchased another 2 grow lights and will be sourcing a table (will double as the market stand) soon.  This should give us the ability to have 12 flats going at any time under lights.  with 72 cell flats that is over 800 plants, though many will be larger 2″x2″ flats for the nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant).  Spinach transplants are up and just getting into its first set of leaves.

At the Hoop house the longer days and slightly warmer temps are having Big Results.  Yesterday with an outside air temp of 36, interior temps at noon were already 74 degrees at ground level.  I weeded in a T-shirt in rich, earthy and humid air-what a treat!  Spinach is on its second set of leaves and the ground is ready for transplants in a few weeks.  Next year will need to start transplants earlier to maximize the Hoop House.
Rotation for the market garden is about wrapped up.  Taking the garden completely out of production  every other year simplified the rotation immensely.  All beds are getting 2 crops, some 3.  Add 1 if you count the over wintering cover crops. Hold tight for an upcoming post on this.  Suffice it to say we will have 100 tomatoes, 120 peppers, 80 squash/melons, 1800 carrots and 600+ spinach (in 3 plantings) and more beets and mache than you can shake a stick at.  At the second farm will be 200#’s of seed potatoes planted on a huge leaf mould windrow, a 300 sq ft bed of drying beans, and another 300 sq ft “3 Sisters” polyculture using heritage cultivars traditionally grown by Native Americans. The livestock aspect is toning down some -the farm owners have agreed to double their chicken flock, and I will buld tractors to use as needed.  This frees me from having to come out twice a day to feed/water/inspect and gets them extra help on the farm -freeing them to take vacations.   Will start grant writing this week as well!

Household Ecology Center 

Otherwise known as the Eco Victory Garden, met with raves reviews at our Sustain Jefferson meeting and is so green lighted as to be radioactive.  Presentations with display units to be up on Earth Day in two county communities and counting.  We are even planning on displaying them, with a full presentation, at the MREA!  Current tasks are searching for a more sustainable lumber source than Menard’s, finding sponsors, and setting final pricing.  Have a strong feeling that my original goal of a dozen installs is wildly under the mark.  Current limit is that we only have 42 barrels…

Very exciting Spring -all the more so now that I am feeling healthier and more able to embrace the activity!  Soon the summer tires will be back on the Insight and I can’t wait to be getting 70mpg again!



5 Responses

  1. Everything sounds so great!

    We are hoping to attend the MREA this year – look forward to your presentation! 🙂

  2. Clicked send before I realized that I might have mis-read. Is the MREA presentation going to tie in with the MREA Energy Fair? 🙂

  3. Yep the MREA Energy Fair. While we technically are cycling energy in the Ecology Center it may be seen as a stretch for Those That Decide. There have been every less “energy” relevant presentations, so we decided to give it a try. It has been morphing into a “sustainability” fair somewhat over the past few years anyhow.

    The gasifier has a better chance of acceptance, and we also put one in for running our The Natural Step Study Circles.

    Here’s hoping! We for sure have a booth so I maybe I’ll see you there!

  4. Hooray! Sounds fantastic!

  5. glad you’re feeling better. Weather has been weird here too, 30 one day, 60 the next and today high thirties but it snowed last night. sheesh.

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