The cucumber and pepper crop in hoophouse #1 was ripped out, and replaced with transplanted spinach, arugula, and romaine lettuce and direct-seeded lettuce for salad mix a couple weeks ago. They are doing well, despite nighttime temperatures of 28 degrees.
After it’s summer crop of tomatoes and peppers, the new hoophouse has been seeded for its winter crop of carrots, spinach, and hakurei turnips. This winter crop is always risky business because germination takes weeks and nothing really grows significantly until day length increases to 10 hours, which happens in the middle of February.
At our last farmer’s market of the year several folks stopped to say how beautiful the apples were, but I sold exactly 3 apples. Seriously? We have several hundred pounds to move.
If cherry tomatoes tasted nasty we would still grow them because they are so beautiful. It’s just a bonus that they are delicious.
One of our farm’s biggest sellers, to restaurants and at the Farmer’s Market, is salad mix.
New for the farm this year, padron peppers. These early ripening peppers are a stock item on the menu of Spanish tapas bars. Sauté them in smoking hot olive oil until they brown and blister, sprinkle with salt, and pop them in your mouth! They have just a touch of heat, but every tenth one is a little hotter – Russian roulette with food
The hoophouses are now in full production. Tyria English cucumbers and Corinto slicing cucumbers are producing fruit at the rate of about 30 lbs per week of each variety.
Here are two varieties of arugula – Esmee on the left and Astro on the right.
The new hoop house is complete, and it survived the weight of 2′ of wet snow without damage. Although the weather continues to be exceptionally cold (Feb. temperatures have averaged 10 degrees below normal below normal) we have begun transplanting lettuce and hakurei turnip plants. These should be ready for harvest in late April, to be replaced by pepper, eggplant, and tomato plants.
I just installed the poly film on the new hoophouse. All that remains is to install the rollup device on the sides, and to frame out the door.