This was the first week of the 2018 Two Hands Farm CSA season. Members got a smattering of early crops including rhubarb, radish, lettuce, mustard greens, and, a hold over from the end of last season, parsnips.
While a few things are already ready to be harvested, most plants are just settling in, starting to grow, or just flowering.
Here is a visual tour of how things are looking.
After the grass is out, but before the green growth totally takes over
It feels like the momentum is building on the farm. Each weekend brings more plants germinating and more work to be done. This weekend I transplanted onions out on to the farm. I weeded the baby plants, getting to see how many of what has come up and get rid of the bad guys around them. I laid out drip tape for all of the areas planted so far and started the process of re-setting up the irrigation system. This is a bit of a headache every year as I try to figure out the balance between accepting leaks and buying new parts.
This time of year the farm looks a little sad, but all the areas with white row cover have things growing underneath them!
This is what it looks like up close outside:
And, in the greenhouse:
Little green things are coming up! It feels like hundreds of little miracles. Just their first leaves, full of so much potential. First the kale and cabbage in the green house, then the peppers and tomatoes. Now, outside, the peas, mustard greens, and beets are fighting their ways through the weeds to set down roots and claim their space. These photos are over a week old, so imagine these plants over an inch tall by now with their true leaves ever seeking the sunlight. More up to date pictures to come soon. (the curse of not having my own smart phone)
The CSA has filled up, and I am working hard to get the land and plants ready for the season to begin. My hands are covered in dirt as I type this from loosening rows and removing weeds, especially the long tendrils of grass roots.
This week I seeded tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, broccoli, cauliflower (a new experiment) and cabbage in the green house. And, the onions that were seeded in late February are growing well.
Once again this year Two Hands Farm is offering farm shares. Farm shares give you a share of the farm’s produce each week for 20 weeks from June through October.
You can expect a huge variety of vegetables from lettuce and kale, to tomatoes and peppers, to broccoli and cabbage, to a variety of herbs.
Seeds have been ordered and arrived, and the onions are starting to sprout in the greenhouse, with lots more seeding to come in the next few weeks.
It is hard to imagine the bounty with snow falling outside, but here is a reminder of what is to come.
The beans are coming in and it is so exciting. I love fresh beans. I eat them raw when I break one off as I am harvesting or as a quick snack, I steam them, I roast them, I sear them. I eat them cold and hot and warm.
This morning I spent a hour harvesting beans. I start with the pole beans. They are just starting to have a few mature beans, which means I have to poke around behind the leaves to see if anybean is hiding. There are the purely green Kentucky Wonder, then the red flowering fuzzy bean, Scarlet Runner, then the purple and green Rattlesnake. Then, I move on to the bush beans, they are really going already. First the green Providers, they are prolific and I like to pick them just when they look like they are bursting at the seams. The next bed has yellow wax beans. Sometimes I have a harder time knowing exactly when to pick them, it almost feels like intuition to know when it is perfectly yellow to white and plump. Finally, are the deep purple beans. Get the light wrong, and it is almost impossible to be able to see them hiding under their slightly purple leaves and stems. Then my basket is weighted down and full of color.
And, some pictures of mostly not beans, but maybe you can catch the Scarlet Runner beans with their red flowers. Click to see the pictures larger.
Melon All the things
There is never an end to the potential work that can go into this farm, but I am at the point in the season that I like to call weeding and waiting. And, I could weed constantly and continue to find more things to pull out of the ground. But, instead I am taking a moment to appreciate the growth that is happening. Last year at this time my only connection to the farm was through pictures, now I get to see first hand all the things that are flowering and fruiting and climbing. So here are some pictures of all that happening.