Spring is the time of plans and projects.
Pictured above: Matt planting snow peas in the solar high tunnel, and the moveable high tunnel being moved.
Gone. Finally, the coldest February in recent memory is done, and here we are at the end of March on the fast track to April! It’s officially spring – and the action is picking up all around the farm.
Before we close the door on winter though, it’s worth noting that our first year of winter production in the solar high tunnel totaled approximately 340 lbs. of greens!
the Solar High Tunnel churning out greens
Or, another way of thinking about it – we harvested an average of almost 4 lbs. per day all winter long.
We’ve been delivering 50-60 lbs of greens & radishes a week to the Chatham’s dining services this winter. Follow us on a day of harvesting, cleaning, packing, and putting the greens to bed here!
On this day, we delivered 55 lbs of lettuce, arugula, tatsoi, and spinach, along with 28 bunches of radishes to dining services. (Click on the images for captions)
Carrying tubs from the greenhouse across the street to the high tunnel
Walking across the street with the tubs to harvest in the solar high tunnel
Beautiful snow-covered farm views
Snow covered high tunnel under blue skies
Steph Box harvesting radishes in the solar high tunnel
Amber Webb harvesting baby lettuce in the solar high tunnel
Melissa Nobbe, Matt Kelterborn, and Allen Matthews harvest greens in the solar high tunnel
Freshly harvested beautiful pink radishes!
Melissa Nobbe and Steph Box pack up the greens to take to the kitchen
Harvesting in the solar high tunnel is nice warm work, but we have to bundle up to head back out in the cold and carry the greens across the street to wash and pack.
Melissa Nobbe and Cassandra Malis exit the solar high tunnel carrying tubs of freshly harvested greens, heading across the street to wash and pack them in the kitchen.
Steph Box, Amber Webb, and Matt Kelterborn carry tubs filled with freshly harvested greens back across the street from the solar high tunnel to the kitchen to be washed and packed.
Steph Box, Amber Webb, and Matt Kelterborn carry tubs filled with freshly harvested greens back across the street to the kitchen to be washed and packed.
Cassandra Malis washes and dries spinach
Dry spinach ready to be packed
55 lbs of lettuce, arugula, tatsoi & spinach, along with 28 bunches of radishes, ready for delivery to Chatham’s dining services!
Matt Kelterborn, Cassandra Malis, and Katie Walker cover the plants with row covers. These sheets of plastic and cloth will help the plants stay warmer overnight.
Amber Webb, Matt Kelterborn, and Cassandra Malis cover the plants with row covers. These sheets of plastic and cloth will help the plants stay warmer overnight.
Goodnight plants! These sheets of plastic and cloth will help the plants stay warmer overnight.
It’s mid February and we’re continuing to produce plenty of greens in our Solar High Tunnel. We also harvested our first bunches of bright red and white radishes!
Katie preps our new salad spinner.
Katie washing greens.
into salad spinner
Amber Webb weighs and records produce.
Red and white radishes.
As I was leaving the farm yesterday, I looked up and noticed our pile of inoculated shiitake logs smiling back at me.
This year, I have been working as Allen Matthews’ Research Assistant on a project focused on market assessment for forest-grown shiitake mushrooms in the northeast. As we work on our research, in coordination with shiitake producers around the region, we all are looking forward to harvesting more delicious forest grown mushrooms when the weather warms.
It seems that the logs are enjoying the winter just fine though.
…we’ve got the month of May. This week we harvested another 10-plus lbs. of greens from the solar high tunnel. This harvest included baby arugula, tot soi, and my favorite – claytonia!
Steph harvests arugula greens from solar high tunnel.
Students harvest greens from the solar high tunnel.
Allen discusses the finer points of harvesting claytonia.
Matt about to harvest claytonia.
Matt harvests claytonia.
Students harvesting greens from solar high tunnel.
Tot soi harvested from the solar high tunnel.
With nearly 30 lbs. of greens harvested this month we now have some more space for planting in the solar high tunnel. Katie, Amber and Matt got to work filling those beds with some transplants of kale, spinach and more claytonia.
Trays of spinach, kale and claytonia ready for transplant.
Katie transplants some claytonia plugs in the solar high tunnel.
Katie transplants kale into the solar high tunnel.
Katie and Amber prep a bed for transplants in the solar high tunnel.
Matt waters recently transplanted kale.
The new transplants won’t be ready to harvest for several weeks, but there’s plenty more growing in the solar high tunnel. Coming soon to the harvest list – salad mix and radishes!
Salad mix growing in solar high tunnel.
Baby radishes starting to show in solar high tunnel.
Salad mix coming up in solar high tunnel.
We’re only a few weeks into 2015 but we’ve already had our first real harvest of the year!
Allen and Matt show off the 17.5 lbs. of high tunnel greens.
Radish greens were put into clam shell cases.
Spinach plants with outer leaves harvested.
Tot soi shown post-harvest.
On January 20thwe harvested about 17.5 lbs. of greens from the solar high tunnel, including radish greens, spinach and tot soi.
Most of what we brought in went to Parkhurst to be used in upcoming meals at Chatham.
Rows of Claytonia nearing harvest size.
Salad greens in the solar high tunnel
Within the next 5-7 days we should have our second harvest, which will feature among other things, the intriguing little green known as Claytonia.