Frith Farm is receiving a wintry mix of hail and rain on this gloomy Friday, so I'm taking this opportunity to introduce a bit of spring into a not-so springy day.
This week on the farm has seen a number of hours spent in the greenhouse.
Though Daniel had planted several dozen trays before the apprentices arrived, the greenhouse is nearly bursting at the seams now that Josh, Will and I have planted thousands of seeds this week.
A lot goes into seeding in the greenhouse, mostly because at Frith we make our own potting soil.
|Will, on a seed-blocking shift|
A combination of peat moss, compost, lime, fish meal, green sand and perlite must be thoroughly mixed and then compressed into seed blocks before any seeds ever leave their Fedco packages.
After we measure out the seed blocks, each seed is hand planted and then covered with a thin layer of peat moss.
Here are some seeds planted at the end of March.
|Collards, a southern treat!|
And here I have to note (just in case your attention is wandering after being confronted with pictures like the above) that I too normally find any post whose topic is seeding pretty boring and repetitive. They're just plants, right?
Which is true.
Except now I associate these trays with a lot of hard work by Josh, Will and me, and a lot of planning (and of course, hard work!) on Daniel's part.
|Liz, watering the air (?)|
This year Frith Farm will be supplying not only a 60-70 member CSA (sign up for shares now!), but also we will be selling at both the Scarborough Sunday market and the Portland Wednesday market. All those crops and harvests must be synchronized to allow us to offer a wide selection throughout the growing season.
Fortunately the greenhouse allows us to get a head-start even when there's a wintry mix in the middle of April!
In other farm news, the chickens have had a big, and slightly disruptive, week as they were transferred from their winter coop to the Egg Mobile.
|Home, sweet home|
Overall, the transition went smoothly.
I say "overall" because some chickens just did not get the relocation memo.
If you happened to drive by the farm on Monday evening around 8pm, you would have seen Daniel, Josh and Will cornering upwards of 50 chickens, waving nets about, and at times making diving tackles after the wayward layers.
|Arthur, meticulously protecting every last one of his chickens.|
Our youngest ladies have had no experience spending the summer season in an Egg Mobile and were understandably a bit skittish about roosting in an unfamiliar place.
Although I missed Monday night's excitement by falling asleep on the couch, Tuesday night featured a repeat, albeit with fewer chickens refusing to cooperate.
By Wednesday night all the chickens were used to the routine and enjoying being able to forage on new plots of land as Daniel readies the soil for new beds.
We've rounded out the week by taking advantage of disadvantageous weather.
Although I've been somewhat sidelined by a particularly nasty rooster run-in, the boys are out at this very moment attempting to burn brush piles in the relative safety of a rainy day.
Next week promises higher temperatures and more time direct planting in the beds....stay tuned!