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Hutten Family Farm Newsletter for Saturday Apr 6, 2013

     It might be April 6 today but it still feels kind of cold outside. I just came inside from the greenhouses. There are now two greenhouses with transplants in them so that means two wood stoves to light. With temperatures dropping to minus six degrees tonight I need to make sure that the plants keep warm. Many of the warm season transplants are growing now. Plants like tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, basils, and artichokes need steady warm temperatures for healthy growth.
     Last week Saturday I stayed home from Halifax and planted the first crops of the season outside. I planted peas, sno peas, snap peas, carrots, various beets, swiss chard, radishes, lettuce, green onions, turnips, and about a dozen kinds of Asian greens. All of these crops are then covered with floating row covers to protect them from freezing, to increase heat units, and to keep insect pests from eating the young emerging plants. I would expect the first crops to be up in the next few days. We will continue to plan similar crops every ten days or so for the next three months. As the weather improves we can plant many more types of vegetables. Through the spring and early summer we will plant and cover a total of six or seven acres of these cold season vegetables. In the mid summer we focus more on other crops and then start with new plantings of greens again in August and early September.
     All of the cold frames and greenhouses are full now. Some of the spinach and arugula plantings are finished. We harvest these crops, add compost to the soil, and replant. Some of these plantings are two to three weeks away from harvest now. I would expect baby pac choi, hakurei turnips, chard, radishes, and kale in the very near future. We have some aphids in two of the greenhouses right now but I have released colemani predators and they should be under control soon. These predators are little bugs that we buy and release to control the aphids. It is very effective, especially when the timing is right. 
     After a long day in the fields last week I was relaxing in the house when my daughter Aleida (7 years old) began commenting on my rather disheveled appearance. My unshaven face, weathered skin, wrinkles, etc were noticed. She said "I guess that daddys aren't made for looks, daddys are made for farming."  Smart kid.
     Have a good week.

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