From Greenhouse to Soil

The beauty of last week’s snow was the addition of moisture to parched soil – it’s been a pretty dry winter in these parts! A day of bright sun and low wind allowed me to get plants moved from the greenhouse and into the soil.

I’m clearing out the volunteer trees in the field as I need the space for beds. I enjoy doing this type of work by hand and making practical use of as much wood as I can. Beds are laid out using the downed tree trunks and branches; plants are mulched with old hay from the barn floor.

The weather did a number on my little greenhouse and I lost the majority of my cabbage, kale, and cauliflower plants. The wind lifted the structure from its ties and allowed the cold wind to penetrate. Plants on the middle shelves survived best and I had enough of all to have a good jump on these veggies.

I’ve grown kale in the past and have great success with it – I may need to plant a bed exclusively for the goats, though, as they love it! This is my first attempt at head cabbage and I have two types. Brunwick is green, Tete Noire is purple. I planted more of Tete Noire since I adore purple cabbage – fingers crossed!

This is also my first year to grow cauliflower – I’m super excited for this one. The strain is called Purple of Sicily – the purple florets turn green when cooked. How exciting! I love eating cauliflower (GI pain can’t keep me from it) and plan to keep a close eye on this one. My chickens enjoy the leaves and the goats practically inhale the stems, so nothing will go to waste with this plant.

Last up: peas. The teepee row is just behind the goat run – there is space for the wheelbarrow to trundle between the two. Teepees are built with more downed tree trunks, then held together with fencing wire at the top. Branches laid at the bottom keep the mulch on top of seeds. I installed the old fencing wire from the run – it was too damaged to keep critters in (or out) – on the teepee sides. This will give the pea tendrils space to take hold as the vines grow. One teepee is snap peas, the other is snow peas. I transplanted wild onions to the space between the teepees – they are all over the field and growing well already.

Weather looks to be glorious this week, which is great since tons of things are on schedule to start planting. I’ll also start tomato and pepper plants under the grow lights so they’ll be ready to plant outdoor in early June. I enjoy the busy-ness of this season – here’s to sunscreen days and hard sleep nights!

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