Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More growing

Looking through photos I took just last week, I realize how much everything has grown and changed in just a few days, spring in New England is pretty amazing in how fast it comes on. We've been working hard to get many plants and seeds in the ground. The big transplanting project last week was onions, about 60,000 of them. That's a lot of little onion plants to handle, and we sure hope it will turn into a nice crop of onions. We also put spring cover crop into a 1/2 acre field, where it will add nutrition and organic matter to the soil. We'll turn it into the soil in July, and use that field for our fall crops. Now that the soil has warmed up some, we're starting to see lots of tiny weeds popping up, and are working hard to keep on top of the weeding.
Here Ben is using the flame weeder, you can't really see the flame coming out the end of the torch in his hand, but you can see the steam rising off the soil. We go over beds of tiny young weeds with the flame, and it causes the water in the weeds' cells to boil, bursting the cells, and killing the weeds. Here Ben is flaming a bed that we had seeded to spinach. Weeds had come up already, but the spinach is slower to germinate. So he knocked back the weeds before the spinach was up. If we get all the timing right, spinach pops out of the weed free ground, and we're on our way to happy spinach harvests.