Well, raining again, must be a good time for a post.
I figure I'd do a photo-tour of a typical morning, raining or not. Ready?
Pulling up to the farm. On nicer days I'd like to pull up on a bike instead of in a truck, but I think I'll need some towing capacity first. Anybody know where I can get or make a cheap bike trailer?
Notice the white stuff in the foreground. It's old floating row cover from a farmer-friend that I'm giving new life too. What was once a holey, 30 ft wide by 100 long piece is now several 7ft wide by ~30ft long pieces. Perfect for the raised beds. Floating row cover (or Reemay to some) is a non-woven plastic "fabric" that lets warmth, sunshine and rain in while keeping bugs out. It also acts like a blanket, keeping the plants inside extra warm, up to 5 degrees overnight. There's eggplant underneath there and since they like it toasty, the row cover will stay on until even after they've put out the first flowers. The cover will have to come off sometime though, to let the pollinators in.
This morning I harvested the first crop off the farm! Jeanine Lindhorst from Cooking Matters (another arm of The Queens Galley) needed some spinach for a class she is teaching today. There's about 3 minutes between the harvest and my drop-off at The Queens Galley. The rest of the spinach will probably be sold later this week to restaurants, etc. to make some much needed moolah for the Galley.
These French Breakfast radishes will also be sold off. Two Brothers Old Trolley Kitchen in particular are looking forward to these. They seem to have gone on a radish kick as of late, serving them with soft butter and salt. I am hoping these will be perfect for them, not too spicy with a hint of bite, crispy and fresh (About 7 minutes to Trolley Kitchen). I wonder if they would have been spicier if it were drier.
Every few days I go to Hudson Coffee Traders to pick up used coffee grinds, filters and whatever food scraps they collect in buckets for me. Usually sometime during my pick-up I meet someone new who is interested in urban farming. I guess people tend to notice a small women lugging full buckets out of a coffee shop. Today I met a guy who may be coming over to see the farm when it is not raining. We talked about urban farm crop swaps and how the skyline of NYC is greening up.
Buckets in the truck ready for their trip to the farm. See what I mean about the bike trailer? It's an easy 3/4 of a mile to the farm from the coffee shop, but I can't put the buckets on my handlebars!
When I get back to the farm I open up the cold frame for a moment to let it self-water (i.e. get rained on) while I browse around and do odd jobs. If it weren't raining I would probably put reemay on the tomatoes I planted yesterday, they will have to wait until tomorrow. I would probably also seed the first beans of the season: soybeans for edamame and Dragon's Tongue - a purple stripey bean that can eaten either as a snap bean or a shelled bean. But alas, I merely go to tuck the peas back onto the trellis. They've gotten knocked around a bit from the wind and rain, so they'll need a little encouragement to keep climbing.
I also check on the progress of my napa cabbage. I'm hoping a few of them will be ready by the time we open the farm stand at the farm in June. Whenever they come in, I'll be ready with a knife to make kim chi. The cilantro surrounding the cabbage will be sold at the Kingston Farmers Market next week!