Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Greenhouse Review

Sunday, April 18th, was our Greenhouse Open House Event. Drop in guests from across Chalk Hill Road to as far away as San Francisco dropped in throughout the day, some familiar with the farm and all it does, others simply curious about topics of growing and seeking an opportunity to engage in discussion. Many people went home with a plant or two to stick in their own gardens and a taste of the well known chile jams.

I feel horrible that I came away from this day with no group shots! Next time! I was able to document the plants as usual and will provide a short visual tour of what I saw this season in the greenhouse. As my first visit to the place in 2010, I was overly impressed with how well managed things seemed in there. Meet Zeni, Lee's number one right hand woman in the greenhouse and all things that occur to assist the farm at the Chalk Hill Road property.

Zeni goes about her midday watering responsibility after helping prepare for the Greenhouse Event last Sunday....Lee's pup, Cloudy, has a thing for water and water wands in particular. This complicates the watering process somewhat as it becomes a game and a job all at once.

Baby chiles here. This is a small fraction of the bigger picture.

Baby basil with a steaming camera lens. Many visitors were chased right out of some of the more heated areas of the greenhouse on Sunday as it was such a beautiful was also one of the warmer days yet in the greenhouse. Others enjoyed and basked in the hot and humid climate that could be found in the specialty structure.

Corn. Tierra grows sweet corn, popcorn, flour corns, hominy corn. Which one is this? I'm not sure, I never asked Lee. My guess it that this is a flour corn that takes a long time to mature. The greenhouse start gives it a boost to ensure it matures before cold weather comes in fall and that pests do not damage baby seedlings in the field as often happens when things are direct seeded in spring.

Chiles....Ancho specifically. I think these are my favorite. The immature green Poblano will do, but a sweet and spicy, ripe, red Ancho is perfect for everything. I could eat a roasted Ancho a day and maybe I will when their season rolls around this summer/fall. Looks like there will be lots as usual!

Overview of red malabar spinach (a heat loving green that grows like a vine), first year asparagus seedlings (to plant out in 2011), previously described corn and a mix of basil and chiles.

Close up is either cabbage, broccoli or cauliflower....I think cabbage based on the leaf shape. These will go out to the farm field immediately, maybe today or tomorrow. They are ready and we just need the weather to allow access into the field. Behind is a sea of other brassicas and tomatoes and lettuce. All ready for a life in the great outdoors.

One more look at the forest of tomatoes and lettuce ready to go out. You could eat a salad right out of the greenhouse right now. Lee is masterful at bringing plants to a healthy and mature state before putting them outside. This approach gives them all that much more ability to survive the unexpected conditions that could impact them once exiting the greenhouse including weather, pests, soil, water, whatever!

A big thanks to everyone who came out to appreciate some the work that goes on behind the scenes on the farm. We hope you learned something new and look forward to seeing your faces again at our next gathering this season and at the farm stand, CSA, or farmer's market all season long.

Finally, check out this You Tube Video production by one of our guests of the open house, he took it upon himself to do a thorough overview of the structure and has shared his enthusiasm for all to watch and learn.

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