Posts Tagged ‘seeds’

If you’re looking to renew your farm membership or purchase a CSA share from Stone’s Throw Farm for the first time, stay tuned — I’ll share the details with you soon.

I’m elbow-deep in the farm budget, tax prep, field plans, share planning, seed catalogs, planting schedules, and so forth. I have to say it’s much easier the fourth time around than it was the first few times, not that I’ve got any part of the process perfected yet.

As an example of an imperfect process, one of my next steps is to inventory all of the seeds I have on hand (leftovers from previous years) to see how many I need to purchase. For seed packets that I’ve been dipping into for several years, sometimes it’s difficult to remember how many I started with last spring. You might wonder why I don’t keep better track of such things . . . to which I can only respond, so do I!

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Because I don’t have enough to do, I’m going to try growing a few more flowers this season for the benefit of the pollinators and the people. Here are photos of the ones I just ordered (seeds, that is). Apologies to the seed company that provided the photos, but flower names are not sufficient — we need visuals!
It’s one thing to order seeds for plants you’ve grown before, but there’s a special joy associated with ordering something new. Will it perform the way the seed company promises? Will it look just like it does in the catalog (no, 99% of the time)? Will it be better than the lettuce/pepper/squash/radish I grew last year? My mentors taught me to take a conservative approach with new varieties, but a few new things here and there, grown in addition to the proven performers if possible to decrease the risk, are a good way to keep things fresh and interesting and the best way to find out if a new variety is better than the old one. And there’s nothing quite like poring over seed catalogs for 3 days to get a farmer looking forward to the upcoming season. That doesn’t mean it’s not a relief when it’s finally done, though.

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It’s crunch time at the farm. Tasks done or not done right now will have reverberations throughout the rest of the season. Waiting too long to prep the fields could mean many crops are delayed, but working the ground before it dries out properly leads to soil compaction and can mess up the soil tilth, or texture. Seeding and transplanting is a priority, but skipping proper field preparation could make weed control later difficult or impossible. For some slow-growing crops, a seeding delay of a day or two can mean a week or more delay in maturity several months from now. Everything needs to be done right now, and the weather has not been cooperating very well.

I actually took the time to take a few photos at the farm yesterday with plans to share them here, but I forgot to bring my camera home. You’ll just have to trust me that things are hopping at Stone’s Throw Farm, including the spring peepers.

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Ship The Seeds, Please

After spending the greater part of two days putting my seed orders together, I went for a quick walk down to the lake. It was a nice change from staring at catalogs, spreadsheets, and the computer screen.

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I’ll be nervous for the next 10-14 days. I seeded onions and leeks this morning, and it can take that long for the seeds to sprout. Everything I’ve ever seeded indoors in the last three years has done fine, but … I’ve never seeded Stone’s Throw Farm seeds before. We’ll see….

It felt great to put my hands in soil again.

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More Seeds!

I love the sound of the doorbell at 11:15 am:  it means the mail carrier has a box to deliver. Today it was more seeds — including the leeks! Now I just need to pick up that heat mat, which surely has arrived by now.

Also, thanks for the card, Diane! It’s great to get mail addressed to Stone’s Throw Farm.

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I was sitting in the kitchen eating lunch with my good friend Sharon today when the doorbell rang and Sharon said, “Looks like you just got a big box.” I excused myself, skipped to the door and brought in a big box from one of the seed companies. Hooray! The first seeds have arrived!

Actually, this is the second batch of seeds because my sister sent some sweet marjoram, catnip, asparagus, and ground cherries seeds for V-Day. Thanks, Chris!

Those of you in the know will notice the stirrup hoes in the box, too. All sorts of goodies. Now I just need some locavores to sign up for summer shares and send their deposits so I can pay for this stuff! That’s the beauty of Community-Supported Agriculture:  the farmer gets paid when she really needs the funds — at the beginning of the season when she’s got to pay out in order to get the growing going. Thanks in advance to all you future Stone’s Throw Farm members out there — these seeds are for you!

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Germination Station

Yesterday Elden finished this fancy seed germination station that he built for me and set up in our basement. Nice, eh? I don’t have the bottom heat yet but otherwise it’s all ready for starting seeds. It fits 5 standard-sized trays. The height of the lights can be adjusted and there’s room for another shelf below this one if I decide I need more room.

There’s only one way to find out if it works. In a week, if the onion seeds and heat mat have arrived, I’ll give it a try.

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