Posted 4/8/2009 8:38pm by Judy Lessler.

The US weather service issues a freeze warning for 4 am to 8 am on Wednesday April 8 2009. 

We were concerned becasue it is usually 4 to 5 degrees colder at the farm than the forecast low temperature.  Also, in 2007, there was a severe freeze on April 5 that killed leaves on trees, all of the flowers on our holly bushes, and all of our transplanted corn.  Thus, the freeze warning was a call to action, and we spent a good portion of Tuesday preparing protections for it.  Below are some pictures of our efforts.   They were sucessful AND the cold was not too severe.  We dropped to 28 degrees for a few hours right at dawn and warmed up quickly after that.

We loaded the corn transplants on a large trailer and backed it into the barn.


The barn has a huge door to allow for large equipment to be brought in.  We covered the door with a large tarp and weighted it down to keep it clossed.


Covered barn door


Next we focused on beds of tender transplants and flowers.  


Lilies that volunteered from 2008 were covered.

Lilies that volunteered from 2008 were covered


Beets,  tender lettuces, and pac choy were covered in Plots 1 and Plot 2.


Beets and tender transplants covered


Covered blueberries in Plot 3 looked like little ghosts floating in the field.


Covered blueberries in Plot 3


Some plants are cold tolerant Here is a frost covered red cabbage.  It survived just fine.


Posted 3/30/2009 2:36pm by Judy Lessler.

At HCF we either plant by direct seeding or transplanting.   Until 2008 when we built our own greenhouse, we direct seeded most of our produce and flowers.  We now use a lot of transplants.  This allows us to get some plants in the field earlier and gives us more control over the early stages of their development.  

Plants are first seeded in the greenhouse and spend several weeks there.  When they are large enough, they are moved outdoors to a cold frame or other location to "harden-off."  This means that they are getting used to the harsher weather of the outdoors.  We find, however, that many plants do better in this harsher climate because they are actually adapted for outdoor growth rather than indoor growth.

Some of the plants are both direct seeded and transplanted.  This year we hope to have transplanted corn as well as direct seeded corn. This will be our third try for a good crop of transplanted corn.  In 2007 we put our corn out around April 1, and on April 5 there was a hard freeze that killed the majority of it.  Last year, 2008, we had corn tasseled out when we were hit by a major hail strom on May 20.  Most of it was killed.   Here is a picture of the corn just after it had germinated in the greenhouse.


This corn is now outside waiting to be transplanted as soon as we have a 10 day forecast that includes April 15 with no indication of frost.


The next picture is of chard, kohlrabi, and cabbages waiting the the cold frame and getting hardened up.  Some of these went to the field last week and the week before.  Future blogs will show pictures of the early vegetables in the beds.

More to follow.

Posted 3/10/2009 8:56pm by Judy Lessler.

March is the month when work really cranks up at Harland's Creek Farm.  We were scheduled to put out our first transplants on March 2 2009.  This is what the farm looked like on that morning!  


Farm in March 1 2009 Snow



Needless to say, we spent some time tending to the green house plants, took a walk with the new puppy, and spent most of the day in the house doing paperwork and drinking tea.  Here is a photo of lettuce in the green house.  


lettuce just up



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