BY DEREK CHRISTIANSON
In southern Bristol County we’ve dodged the worst of the snowfall the past few weeks, at least in comparison to the folks north of us. We’ve taken quite a break from fieldwork on the farm and I’ve been appreciating our decision to delay winter CSA distributions originally scheduled for late January/early February. Leaving us plenty of time to catch up on office work (read: tax preparation ) and celebrate the winter season with our young daughters.
We were a bit slower reassembling our fieldhouse on the new farm last fall, so didn’t get the greens seeded down in November/December as planned; instead we’ll look forward to a nice bounty of later winter/early spring greens. Last week we were doing a final round of bed prep and came across more than a few spuds which escaped our harvest efforts last fall; our fieldhouse was sited on land which we planted potatoes in 2014. The potatoes under cover since early December were just breaking their dormancy and beginning to sprout ever so slightly. Although we typically reserve our fieldhouse beds for high value crops, I’ve been interested in trying an early crop of potatoes seeded down in late February… for harvest in early June (a la Eliot Coleman) – while not practical in most seasons, I reckon the late construction of the fieldhouse might give us an opportunity to see how potatoes can fair under cover. These would be “high-value” new potatoes sold by the pint before the summer solstice and likely still not compare to the value of greens. Over the years, we’ve kept detailed records of our planting dates in the fieldhouse and also yields (some years better than others) so that we can make decisions based on real world data Our plans for the tunnel next summer include 2 beds of late transplanted, late-blight resistant tomatoes (set out last week of June for harvest beginning around Labor Day) so the potato experiment should fit into the rotation quite nicely. Read more →