Peas press through the soil for a grasp of grow light magic. We’re kicking off the growing season as New Year’s Eve ushers in 2017.
This winter, the farm grew two cold frames full of lettuce greens which have survived through a few frosts and continue to develop slowly as light returns.
The front garden was turned, weeded, and mulched in prep for garlic planting, manure applications, and start transplanting. Leafhopper Farm hopes to have a full garden stated and in by May this year, complete with some of the more challenging crops like peppers and eggplant. In the mean time, garlic bulbs worthy of seeding from our first in house garlic crop will continue the organic garlic cultivation in progress here at Leafhopper Farm.
Cold frames have definitely been enough to keep hearty winter greens thriving through our low light winter. This week will put the glass to the test with three days of continual freezing temperatures. Hopefully the passive solar will hold. The cloche is working beautifully, and will receive a fresh flight of starts this spring.
The greenhouse has shown to be the more difficult growing space for winter hearty plants. Most overwintering plants, like peppers and cabbage, froze in our lower temperatures. The space is just too big for passive solar alone. Perhaps rabbits will help control the fluctuations. Their little thermal masses are enough to keep temperatures above that critical freezing point. There is also the possibility of compost systems, but the accumulation of such sizable biomass will be better adapted in a permanent greenhouse setting.