Compost is added to all plots and tilled in as soon as soil is dry enough. We buy 15 - 20 yards per year from We Compost It! in Portland, ME. Salad greens, carrots, beets, radishes, and peas are seeded outside, utilizing row-covers and mulches to protect tender young plants from temperature fluctuations and insect damage. Tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, some flowers and herbs are started in a greenhouse, currently located at a nearby farm.
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. First mustards, Hakurei (salad) turnips, and early lettuces are harvested.
We continue seeding salad greens and root crops every 1-3 weeks. We lay black plastic mulch and transplant tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. We transplant out braising greens and seed more inside. Parsnips, storage carrots, beets and beans are direct-seeded in garden beds. Weed control begins with weekly shallow cultivation between beds and hand weeding in beds. Drip irrigation and overhead sprinklers are used when needed. Cover crops are planted to help build soils and out-compete weeds.
Harvesting picks up. We make regular deliveries to Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program (http://www.mchpp.org). Transplanting, direct seeding, and greenhouse seeding happen weekly. Fall brassicas are started indoors along with braising greens and lettuce heads. Crops are monitored for pests and disease, and the soils are frequently checked for moisture levels. Cover crops are incorporated in the soil.
Harvesting, delivering, transplanting, and direct seeding of fall greens and root crops take center stage. Brassicas and braising greens are transplanted. Irrigation weeding, and pest control continue as needed. Beds are renovated and re-planted. Flowers are harvested to decorate dining facilities and events. Garlic is harvested for curing.
Harvests continue until the end of the month, usually around Family Weekend. Seed garlic is planted and mulched. Crop residues are removed and composted. Soils are tested. Strawberries, blueberries, asparagus and perennial herbs and flowers are mulched. Stakes, twine, and row cover is organized and put away. Harvest suppers occur.
Late season harvests of crops under protective covers taper off. Growing data collected, analyzed and presented. Evaluations performed. Planning for next season begins.