Things are sprouting!

The past few days on the farm have been a beautiful reminder that spring is not too far away. (Although these snow flurries are troublesome.) Coming back to the farm after just a week floored me. Things change so quickly, both at the hands of nature and the crew here. The surrounding frozen lakes are thawed and the tundra hills are showing specks of green. The new kitchen looks amazing, and the market edition is progressing every day.

But perhaps the most exciting change is in the potting shed, where Bonnie’s empty black cups are sprouting little green things!
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Cabbage was the first to sprout!

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Keep checking the blog for growing updates! Leeks and onions are going in next!

Meet Bonnie Hull

In from the field in 2007

In from the field in 2007

Bonnie Hull, who has worked for us part time since 2007, has agreed to join us as our greenhouse manager.   I am thrilled to be able to hire Bonnie in this position. Apart from her own ‘kitchen garden’ of about a quarter acre, Bonnie and her husband Aaron and his brothers have recently bought a farm in Layton, NJ just a few miles from Upper Meadows Farm. We see a great opportunity to advocate for organic and develop a synergistic relationship with emerging area farms.

A very capable worker, motivated and goal-oriented, Bonnie is a ceramic artist. She has a degree in fine arts from SUNY New Paltz. She was artist in residence at Art School of the Berkshires where she was the  recipient of a Geraldine R. Dodge Grant in 2007, along with a two-month residency at the Peter’s Valley Craft Center, which is just down the road from the farm.  Among other accolades for her ceramics, Bonnie  is known for her rhythmic and colorful glaze surfaces.

Bonnie will be selling her ceramics at the Manhattan Plaza Community Market (our distribution location in Hell’s Kitchen). The same attention to detail and work ethic that she devotes to her art  brings a solid foundation for our plant production in the greenhouses. Drop her a line to welcome her or just chat. Planting begins today!!!

Wind and more wind

There are two greenhouses here on the farm. The small house is the potting house where we plant the seeds and get them started. The big house, 22′ x 52′, is where the plant flats go once they are sprouted and for hardening off prior to planting in the ground. Here we start planting sets in the middle of March. We start with lettuce, kale, cabbage, collards, broccoli, onions and leeks, all of which will be planted out in the field beginning in April. These winds we’re having are about a month and a half earlier than the calendar would expect. It is just amazing to spend a day in the wind, when even  the smallest thing you carry becomes a sail. I planned to move the big greenhouse to a new spot to rotate out the ground and let it rest. The wind moved it for me last night. This is the first time that I’ve seen such a thing! The big house cart-wheeled over, out of the way. I took one look at it this morning and had to laugh. The damage was minimal and my thought was, ok, the hand of god is moving things along. It would have been great if it was placed right where I needed it but I’ll take the help. Rather than putting me behind in the season this actually moves me ahead of schedule by a month with a good full day’s work already done.