Spring Update!

Happy spring from Pitchfork & Crow!

We’ve had a busy winter getting the farm ready for an intensive season ahead.  As many of you know, we’ve moved the farm to 15 leased acres between Albany and Lebanon, but we still live here in Salem.  This is our third season and third farm location but we’re excited about the possibilities of so much space.  Our winter months have been filled with planning and building and generally cleaning up.  As the weather slowly warms, and we are greeted with more daylight each day, we have high hopes for the season ahead.

We took advantage of dry spells back in January and February and successfully erected our new-to-us field houses and propagation house.  Jeff recently worked up the dry soil in the field houses for early plantings of spring spinach, salad mix, and maybe even carrots.  The propagation house is now filling up with baby starts of chard, collards, kale, onions, leeks, lettuce, salad mix and more!  We’ve even started our peppers and eggplant on newly built heat tables in there.  Having an appropriate sized propagation house feels luxurious as we think back to the relatively small greenhouse we’ve used in years past that would soon fill to the brim with flats.  The last couple of weeks have been filled with the work of pruning the apple, pear, and plum orchards that are established on this new farm.  Just another of the new adventures we have in store this year.

We have big plans for growing the farm in 2011.  We’re hoping to invest in infrastructure improvements and eventually purchase the land we’re growing on this year.  These plans take money and we’re especially thankful to folks who have committed to the 2011 CSA program.  Their direct support and early payments allow us to have the funds for buying seeds and making the investments now that will ensure a successful growing season.  We want our farm to feed our community and members in the CSA are truly committed to helping us succeed.  We’re still accepting CSA members and if you’re interested in further details please see the CSA page here.

As spring advances, we’ll ramp up the field work and continue the steady flow of weekly successions of sowing seeds.  The propagation house will continue to fill up.  We’ll tackle new problems, such as a drip irrigation system for the field houses.  And in a few months we’ll be once again harvesting vegetables and making our weekly appearance at the Salem Saturday Market and testing out our new Tuesday evening  CSA pick-up.  We hope you’re also looking forward to another year of fantastic and abundant local vegetables!

Happy Spring!
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett
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