The Harvest Begins!

Slowly but surely, things are sizing up! Despite the cool, wet spring, our plants are eager to grow big and strong.

Over the last week or so, we’ve started to harvest small amounts of baby greens for the St. Paul Cheese Shop, for a neighborhood block party, and for our own munching! This coming week, we’re hoping do sell some of our delicious spinach and mixed greens to a few other cafes. And we’re offering an early mini CSA share! We had to push the official start of our CSA season back a week, to the 9th, but because we have some greens ready to go, we’re offering our members a small box of greens and radishes as a bonus this week. Thanks for sticking with us through a long, rainy spring, guys!

So, since May’s practically behind us, let’s have a few updates!
Absences and Returns:

Alex and Emily H were out of town right after Macalester’s graduation on the 14th, and both missed the farm uncontrollably. Vacation is wonderful, but for a farmer with crops in the ground, it’s also a little torturous thinking about what you’re missing! Luckily, the four other Concrete Beet Farmers picked up the slack and kept the farm in tip-top shape through some of the busiest days yet.

Nightshades and Cucurbits in the Ground:

The bulk of our tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are in the ground at our 15th Avenue site! They’re looking strong, despite a bit of transplant shock after moving from the cushy, warm Macalester greenhouse to the real world. We’re in the process of getting a trellising system set up so they stay under control throughout the season. And summer squash and cucumbers are loving their new home on 2nd Avenue. There are even more seedlings in the greenhouse, awaiting a second round of transplanting! This means that your summer will be filled with delicious salads, salsas, grilled veggies, and more! We can’t wait.

Party on the Block!

On Wednesday the 25th, the block club on 15th Ave organized a little get-together for the neighborhood, and we hosted on the sidewalk in front of our farm! Lots of lovely people stopped by and toured the farm, snacked on some of our salad greens, made mosaics, ate cookies, and chalked the sidewalk! It was wonderful to meet more of our neighbors, and reconnect with those we already know. We look forward to knowing you all better!

The Rural Connection:

As you may know, our own Farmer Eric grew up on a blueberry and Christmas tree farm in Forest Lake, MN. Lucky for us, his parents still run Covered Bridge Farm, and they had a little extra patch of tilled land available for us to use this summer. We’re using it to grow our melons and winter squash, which take up a lot of space that we don’t necessarily have on our city lots. Dusty, Eric, and Emily H ventured up to Forest Lake on Friday to prepare the space, transplant melons, and direct seed winter squash. And then we got fed a wonderful dinner by Eric’s mom. We like this arrangement quite a lot.

Before and After!

New Land:

With our great friends Uptown Farmers, we’ve been working for the last few months to set up a lease agreement with a local bank that owns a vacant lot on 12th Ave and 25th St. This past week, we finally got news that they’ve accepted our proposal. So we’ll be team-farming it with Uptown, and we couldn’t be more excited. It’s a great location, we need some extra space for our next round of tomatoes, and we love working with Nate, Julie, and John! Look forward to updates after we break ground this week.

With everyone back on the farm, more space than ever, and our fingers crossed for some warm weather this week, we’re gearing up for June! We hope you all are looking forward to the first CSA pickups, the first newsletter, the first big harvests, and everything else that June brings as much as we are! Stop by sometime, and see how things are growing!

Also, check out our cameo appearance on The Greenhorns Blog! We love these guys- they’re a national network run by and for young farmers- and are excited to be featured on their website, even if they did mix things up and say that Macalester is in Wisconsin…

 


Busy, busy, busy

Bent over the soil yesterday, planting turnips and dripping sweat, it suddenly felt like summer. It seems like just yesterday that we were rushing out to the plot with row cover to protect our newly planted seedlings from the late April snow. Time flies when you’re overrun with farm tasks, it seems.

We’ve been busy putting up a fence, planting over 20 different crops, constructing towers and trellises, figuring out CSA pickup dates, searching for grants, and working on our farmer’s tans.

So, a long awaited update:

April 24th: The Big Workday

On Easter, the weather took a break from the nasty cold rain it had been throwing at us and gave us a day full of beautiful sunshine for our first ever workday. We had 20 to 25 wonderful volunteers come out to the farm throughout the day, and managed to accomplish some major projects! We put up a fence, planted cold weather row crops like spinach and radishes, transplanted onions, cabbage, broccoli, and parsley, built some compost bins, constructed potato towers, and painted signs. It was absolutely incredible to have so many smiling faces and willing hands on the farm, so THANK YOU to all of our beautiful volunteers. We couldn’t do it without you.

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