Our newest sprout!
We've been busy with all sorts of projects, but the biggest and most important arrived on the first day of spring. Meet Sonora Rose.
(Also pictured: pea shoots and spinach seedlings. Look for us at the farmers' market in another month or so!)
Oh, March. It's time to start dreaming of warmer weather and green things... and with that in mind, we've posted some new recipes featuring winter salad ideas. Check it out - and let us know if you have some of your own!
Front page news!
The Addison Independent featured our solar-heated germination bed in the 3/14/11 issue! Click here to download a PDF of the article, or you can read it on their website.
Thanks to Andrew Stein and the Addy Indy for a great, thoughtful article.
Winter, projects, and babies
As spring is fast approaching, it is time to turn the farm switch to "on". We had a much busier winter than expected, which unfortunately did not involve growing any produce.
Jeremy spent the fall and winter building a new high tunnel and solar heating system for the greenhouse. This will enable us to expand our indoor production greatly. We are both very excited about having 3 times the greenhouse space as last season. What that translates to is more early spring produce (greens, radishes, and scallions) and more tomatoes in the summer.
Last Fall we received a grant from the State of VT to build a solar heated germination chamber in one of the high tunnel greenhouses as a research project. We are researching the feasibility of using solar hot water for supplemental heating in the greenhouse. The idea is to heat a very small portion of the greenhouse rather than heating the entire volume of the building. While we have not artificially heated our high tunnels until now, we feel that this system fits with our philosophy in that we are still only using the sun and water to grow plants (no fossil fuels). What we did was create a radiant floor heating system in a raised bed and then covered that with a cloth cover (row cover). So far the system has been able to keep the soil in the bed between 50F-55F and the air temperature 3F warmer than the rest of the greenhouse. The next test is to set the soil to 70F and see if we can keep the air temp 20F above ambient.
Finally, the most exciting news is Caitlin's winter growing project... a baby! We have a new addition to Gildrien Farm arriving soon. The due date is March 13th, which can mean any day now. Much of our winter was spent preparing for the baby and now we are waiting for the baby to arrive.
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