No, I'm not actually that excited about this. Sometimes as a beginning farmer I have to do things to build the farm that I do not intend to sustain. I could even go so far to say I'm not proud of these practices, but that would imply feelings of shame, and that wouldn't be accurate. In fact, I am satisfied that I can utilize an array of farming tools and techniques to help me save time and money and even have positive affects on the harvests.
Using black plastic as a soil covering mulch is one such practice. Laying it out tightly on a newly tilled bed significantly warms the soil and eliminates weeds, resulting in an earlier harvest that can be larger and more abundant. We will put all the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants on the black plastic mulch this year.
By laying alfalfa hay in the paths between beds, we can keep weeds down and build soil as it decomposes.
This week I am feeling like things are going according to schedule. The weather seems to have stabilized and we should be past the freezing night temperatures of last week. (Hopefully since I am itching to get tomatoes planted on this plastic!) Transplanting Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Kale, Leeks and other spring seedlings will be completed this week.
This is intern Gretchen's first full week on the farm and she has already experienced what its like to farm in a crazy Central New York Spring!