Work

Crop Rotations and Plans 2017

Crop planning is one of my favorite seasonal preparations.  It is part day-dreaming about the new and exciting things that will be tried during a season and another part problem-solving.

Problem-solving?

Well, yes…

Things to consider – what to plant, crop rotations, soil needs, and overall spacing (will what I WANT to grow even fit in the garden plan?).

Fall planted mesclun

Fall planted mesclun

Deciding what to plant is always the super fun part.  All those STUNNING seed catalogs that stuff the mailbox in January…glossy, perfect pictures of beautiful produce.  Love it.  But…it is easy to look at all those gorgeous photos and get carried away.  I’m a biologist at heart and am driven to experiment, but I also have to remember to go with what I know people enjoy and with what has proven to work in our setting.

With our raised planting beds, we are able to practice bio-intensive plantings.  That basically means we try to utilize all the space offered in the planting bed to maximize production.

Want a good and informative read?  

Check out Jean-Martin Fortier’s Book “The Market Gardener.”

We also concentrate our soil amendments to the planting area.  No more compost lost to the pathways or beyond the raised bed.  Focusing the application is more efficient and cost effective!

Crop rotations become easier with each season when you start with a master plan.  Flexibility in farming is a must, but having a basic idea from the get-go is needed to guide decisions throughout the seasons.

There is a lot of information out there about crop rotations and strategies.  The bottom line is to not plant the same crop or crop family in the same spot year after year.  Crop rotations give the soil a “break” and interrupts some pest cycles.  The crop rotation plan we try to mirror is Eliot Coleman‘s eight year plan:

8 year rotation plan from Eliot Coleman

8 year rotation plan from Eliot Coleman

So…with Spring around the corner, we are ready.

  1. We have our seeds ordered and seed starting is underway!
    Onion seeds

    Onion seeds

    2. Our crop rotation is set letting us finalize our crop plan.

    3. The garden is mapped for 2017!

And so begins our 2017 market season.  We hope you join us for this year’s market journey!

Planning

The 2016 Growing Season is already in the works. There aren’t many things as exciting in the winter time as studying seed catalogs, mapping out planting beds, and putting together seed orders.

The recent snows only got me daydreaming about this

TOMATOES!

TOMATOES!

Do you have your gardens all planned out and seed orders placed yet? Trying anything new?

First Planting for 2016

Approximately FOUR HUNDRED and EIGHTY cloves later….we got our garlic planted,

Planting garlic cloves

Planting garlic cloves

top dressed with compost,

Cloves "fed"

Cloves “fed” and straw mulch coming

and mulched with straw

Cloves "put to bed"

Cloves “put to bed”

And so begins our 2016 growing season!!!!