Lohbrunner Community Farm: Spring Planting is Here
Spring is around the corner! This is always such an exciting time of year for farmers – the winter has (hopefully) worked its restorative wonders and, usually, we find ourselves refreshed and excited (maybe even downright antsy) for another season where we make the most of the sunlight and long daylight hours, working hard to turn the abundant free solar energy of summer into nourishing food.
Before that can happen, annual vegetable farmers in the northern hemisphere need to take their crop plans from their computers or paper and begin to turn these ideas into growing plants which, in good time, become food. There is quite a bit of forethought that goes into growing annual vegetables. For example, to harvest heads of lettuce in July the plan must be made in winter (what variety should be planted, when should it be seeded, where in the field should they be planted, and what the soil should be fertilized with). The seeds start in plug trays 10 to 12 weeks before you want to harvest the lettuce. For a head of crispy romaine for Caesar salads in July, the seeds need to be planted around late April or the beginning of May.
So, right now at Lohbrunner, our market farmers are beginning the spring seedings in order to have an abundance of good, healthy food for our communities during the 2021 season – onions, leeks, tomatoes, and kale are some of the first but they are followed by a plethora of others in short order.
Despite the very busy season we know is coming, after a winter of rest, reflection, and planning, it always feels good to get our hands dirty again and begin coaxing life – and food – from seeds and soil.