Sun and Snow
Two sunny days in a row... unheard of yet this April or so it seems. A third and we might actually be able to drive a tractor in the field. Until then, we will try to be light on our feet as we transplant tomatoes and potatoes by hand, and re-cover plastic beds with the time honored tool known as a shovel. Dave said that Roy used to lay all the plastic beds by hand when they grew a lot of melons for wholesale. Not bad to do for a little section but I can't imagine doing row after row. I guess that is what they talk about when they say how easy things are now, no walking to school both ways in the snow uphill. Or rather planting in the snow... crazy weather forecast.
The tomato jungle of the greenhouse has moved out to the mini-tunnel for hardening off the plants, basically getting them used to the rough and tumble outside weather after the cozy greenhouse. It allows them to be a little stressed, but with roll-down plastic sides, we can moderate the cold night temps some. The sungolds have easily filled the new field tunnel and despite being a bit droopy the first day, have perked up and will soon need to be trellised.
Yesterday Dan and I and one volunteer (or rather drafted) laying hen headed up to an education earth day event at State College Central Parklet, mainly for 3-6 year olds. The hen (hereafter referred to as 'Princess' thanks to some snappy namers) was clearly the star of the show. The expected problems, such as making a break for it, or the hen taking an unopportuned bathroom break when we were holding her, did suprisingly not occur. Fed some extra greens for her work, it was a bit hard to return her to the annonymous flock of chickens after spending a day getting attached. While I'm not sure the kids grasped the value of CSA's or eating locally grown organic produce (we didn't really try), I was impressed at their ability to match some vegetables to their seedlings, as well as planting peas for us, and enthusiasm for the hen. I was happy to hear the number of teachers that are hatching chicks in class or planting seedlings.
Meanwhile back at the farm, the unexpected rainy day, turned sunny, and busy. The days seem to fly by a lot faster when sunny. After cloudy days, the sun seems awfully bright, and I feel like a recently transplanted tomato, easily wilted by the windy warm sunny conditions. But we are all quickly adjusting with the extra energy of spring, as well as the lovely snow forecast!
Have a wonderful earth day!