April 4, 2008

Springtime activity at the farm

I am so happy because every day there are new signs of spring at the
farm.  Yesterday, that fresh smell of cut grass was wafting in the air
because the grounds’ crew spent a good part of the day removing the
thatch from the lawn.  Thatch is an accumulation of grass stems, roots,
clippings, and other debris that settles on the ground.  This layer can
prevent air, water, light, and nutrients from reaching the soil
surface, inhibiting healthy new grass growth.  It can also encourage a
proliferation of unwanted lawn pests.  Thatch can be removed with a
vigorous raking, but when you have a large lawn, as I do, it’s quite
helpful to use a power thatcher. 

This is Wilmer pushing my Billy Goat thatcher.  It has a raking
system that kicks up the thatch.  You can really see the difference on
the lawn he’s already passed over.

This is Fernando and Gyurme raking the loosened thatch onto a tarp.

Look how much debris has been removed from the lawn.

The thatch was loaded onto a truck and was added to our big compost heap.


Personally, I think the beginning of April is a bit late to be
planting the first crop of peas - I like them in the ground on March
15th.  However, for various reasons, planting was delayed this year, so
I guess we’ll have to wait a bit longer for the first harvest.

This is our intern, George, who is cutting the birch supports for
the peas.  These branches were brought down from my property in Maine.
Next autumn, they will make nice kindling for the fireplaces.

The branches are pushed into the soil on both sides of the raised
bed.  Their small branches intertwine providing support for the entire
row of peas.

Once the birch branches are in place, Jodi digs a shallow furrow for the peas.

Here she is dropping the peas into the furrow about 1.5” – inches apart and 1”- deep.

The peas came from Johnny’s Select Seeds. www.johnnyseeds.com
Jody planted Oregon Giant snow peas, Case Lode shelling peas, Eclipse shelling peas, and Super Sugar Snap snap peas.


You may remember reading my blog last November when Erika showed us
all how to plant garlic.  I thought you’d like to see that the garlic
is, indeed, growing quite nicely.


Here is the very same Georgian Crystal that was placed in the ground last autumn.

From the looks of things, we’ll have quite a sizable garlic harvest this year!