Friday, April 6, 2012

Sonoma "Spring"

Rough beds being shaped to prepare for Transplanting.
"Spring" belongs in quotation marks here on the Santa Rosa Plain.  In recent years we seem to have quite our share of rain in the months of March and April.  The rain is generally good for the ecosystem we farm in, but it makes the logistics of farming difficult.  When the soil is worked with too much moisture we squeeze the air out of the soil and create a compacted mess that will not support plants. The last two seasons have had lots of heavy spring rains that have delayed planting in the field until May, and delayed our harvest until very late summer.

This year has started out with an interesting pattern.  Super dry conditions in January and February made it possible work the soil much earlier than normal.  This should help things tremendously, especially in our tomato and pepper field that has been fallow for a year and had a very thick cover crop/sod layer that needs lots of time to break down before planting.    I am hoping that there is an extended dry period soon so I can form up beds and get ready for planting onions in the next few weeks, planting onions in May has really reduced our yields in the last couple of years.

This Saturday will be our last farmer's market of the winter/spring season.  We will harvest the last of our salad crops from the hoop house and start planting basil and English cucumbers for our summer season.  I have really enjoyed coming to market in the winter months with our collection of greens and root crops, I have enjoyed eating such good vegetables in the winter myself!  We have not come to as many markets as planned this year because we were not able to produce much salsa, roasted tomatoes, or dried chiles last year, we hope for a more abundant 2012.  We are almost sold out of many of our processed products so stock up now, fall is still a long way off.

See you at the Berkeley Farmers Market Saturday,
Kevin and the Quetzal Farm Crew