Friday, April 17, 2015

Plug Mob

plug trays in the greenhouse

This Saturday I will be at the Haddon Twp. Green Market which is held in the Westmont Theatre Parking Lot off of Haddon Ave.  This is an early market but one that officially kicks of the season. May the beautiful craziness begin.

Due to the earliness of this event I'm going to "Plug Mob" it.

What's that? 

Plug Mob = plug flats + a mob of excited people

So plug trays are the smallest size space that we seed into. Then the little plants are transplanted somewhere larger like another flat or right into the field. Plug trays are a big space saver.  A lot of plants in a very small space.

With plugs there is also always some extras...partial trays. Or in some cases (shame on me for not doing more thorough math) whole trays.

Why get excited? 

Plugs are so inexpensive you might find yourself overwhelmed. Also plugs take the trouble of starting seeds at home with limited light and direct heat source away.

On Your End.... 

Plugs can be planted now if you are going to take great care and maintain a regular watering schedule.

Or use the cups provided, fill them with dirt, plant the little pug in the cup and when the roots have filled the new container (about 2 weeks) it can go outside.

Most of all this is a way to really experiment, play, and try new things...I mean why not, right?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April Greenhouse and Wagons

peach blossoms in the greenhouse

We have a ton of stuff filling up the greenhouse and two wagons outside filled with onions, beets, kohlrabi, broccoli, cabbage, and parsley. That's how we get plants ready for the field...

We set them out on wagon to "toughen up"... if you will. Basically to get used to wind, rain, and a little less water.  But if the weather is going to be too bad we can still bring them inside. Safety first.

kohlrabi ready to be planted
flat leaf parsley ready for the field

Even though we have a lot of larger plants at this point we still have tons of babies who are about to be moved from these plug trays to 6 packs. They'll live there for a few weeks and then off to the field. These below are future cut flowers.
plug trays
Inside the greenhouse not only do I have plants but I have buckets of peach blossoms that I've been "forcing" for a treat at an upcoming Farmers' Market.  

I've had quite a few people ask what do you do with them? put them in a vase on your table and soak up the delicate beauty of deep red branches with little pink flowers. They last about 7 days after they start opening.

bunched peach blossoms
I have had numerous emails about herbs.  Can I grow more herbs. Herbs offered on the Buying Club. Well herbs you (my A+ customers) asked for and herbs you will have. I'm putting in an "herb garden." 

rosemary plants
sage bound for the field
rosemary like little trees standing tall. too cute! 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Phoenix: One Tough Chick

phoenix is the larger chick in the middle

I placed the order for 50 little chicks and then waited....

And then finally on a Sunday afternoon I received the text message that they were in the mail.

The second the post office opened Monday morning I was on the phone letting them know chicks were on the way and I'd be happy to come pick them up. Can you imagine being the mail man/woman and having to drive around all day with screaming chicks in the truck.

Monday, no chicks.

Tuesday, no chicks.

Wednesday, there were chicks...

I got the call Wednesday and headed over to pick them up. However it was cold.  Insanely, unseasonably cold and the chicks shipped on Saturday. They were held up by bad weather and when I peeked in the box there was little movement.

The boxes the chicks come in are split 25 chicks on the left and 25 on the right. For certain I knew all 25 on the left side of the box were dead.  On the ride from the post office to the farm I cried. It was just sad.

Upon arriving home Bill, (my chicken mentor) and I sprung into action dipping beaks and trying to get them warm. However only 1 or 2 were sitting upright and the rest were alive but sprawled out. The brooder in the barn was too cold so I packed them back up and brought them to the house. More dipping of beaks in sugar water and trying to get them to eat. So out of 50 I had 6 remaining. And then 5, and 4 and 3 and then 2.

2 were still living Thursday. Around lunch time it became only 1.  And she was very much alive...and sassy too. I took the little body of her friend out and she started to cry.

So in a moment of desperation I called Agway to see if they were open since we were having a snow storm. They were open so I headed out passing a car who couldn't get up the hill by my house and a car that had gone off the road. I teetered along at 15 MPH because at that point I'd only had my new truck for a week or two.

At Agway I said "I need 1 chick."
Girl: You have to take at least 3.
Me: Ok, I'll take 3.
Girl: Well the minimum is really 6 so you can take 3 but I have to charge you for 6.
Me: Oh my gosh that's fine...I'm desperate!

So I headed home (again at 15 MPH) with 3 little yellow chicks.  I put them in with my lone survivor and after saying their chicken hello's and a few pecks they all snugged up with each other.

They napped. I had a beer. All was right in the world.

My lone survivor I named Phoenix since she basically did rise from the ashes. I mean to be the only survivor of 50 is pretty crazy odds. As for the other 3...they are just known as the 3 musketeers.

My second batch of chicks which were sent to replace the ones that didn't make it arrived very opinionated and very much alive.  When the younger chicks turned 2 weeks old I introduced Phoenix and the 3 Muskateers to them.  They'll be in the brooder for a few more weeks and then it's off to join the other ladies.
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