April: Compost is added to all plots and disced in as soon as soil is warm and dry enough. We buy about 28 yards/year from Kinney Compost in Knox, ME. Salad greens, carrots, beets, and radishes, and peas are seeded outside under crawl-in plastic tunnels, remay, and leaf mulch, respectively. Brassicas, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, some flowers and herbs are started in the greenhouse.
May: Second round of salad greens and root crops seeded outside. Seedlings are potted up in the greenhouse. Summer and winter squash are seeded inside along with braising greens (chard and kale). Beds are prepped. We begin composting kitchen scraps. First asparagus spears are harvested.
June: We continue seeding salad greens and root crops every 1-3 weeks. We lay black plastic mulch and transplant out some hot crops and brassicas. We transplant out braising greens and seed more inside. Parsnips, rutabagas, storage carrots and beets and beans are direct seeded. We begin harvesting strawberries, salad greens, and root crops. Weed control begins with weekly shallow cultivation between beds and hand weeding in beds. Drip irrigation is used when needed on perennial crops. Cover crop is seeded on plot to be rested for the season, and the plot reserved for fall crops is put under a cover of buckwheat.
July: Harvesting picks up. We make regular deliveries to school and MCHPP. Transplanting, direct seeding, and greenhouse seeding happen weekly. Fennel and a second round of peas are direct seeded. Fall brassicas are started indoors along with braising greens, lettuce heads and radicchio. We side dress with our first batch of homemade compost. Water levels are monitored and frequent trips to the quarry are made. Cover crop is cut or turned in, then re-seeded with a following cover. Deer fencing is turned on. High bush blueberries are harvested. Bug patrol happens every day.
August: Harvesting, delivering, transplanting, and direct seeding of fall greens and root crops take center stage. Brassicas and braising greens are transplanted. Irrigation employed when needed. Weed and insect control happen weekly. Beds are renovated and re-planted. Herbs, flowers and peppers are harvested for drying. Garlic is harvested along with fresh onions.
September: Major harvests of hot crops, winter squash, watermelons, greens and root crops. Students and classes visit garden frequently. Cleared areas are cover cropped. First frost usually occurs around the 20th. Squash, onions and garlic are cured in the greenhouse. Small leeks are pulled.
October: Harvests continue until the end of the month, usually around parent’s weekend. Seed garlic is planted and mulched. Crop residues are removed and composted. Soils are tested. Rock powders/amendments applied where necessary. This usually includes greensand, rock phosphate, sul-po-mag and/or calcitic lime every 2-3 years. Strawberries, blueberries, asparagus and perennial herbs and flowers are mulched. Stakes, twine, and deer fence are put away. Harvest suppers abound.
November: Season recap data collected, analyzed and presented. Evaluations performed. Planning for next season begins.
December-January: Seed order and planting schedule finalized. Seed order placed. We buy most of our seeds from Maine companies FEDCO and Johnny’s, with the remainder coming from Seeds of Change, Peaceful Valley Seeds, High Mowing Seeds, and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange for particular varieties. We order potting soil from Living Acres in New Sharon, ME.
February-March: Onions and leeks are started in the greenhouse.