FINALLY! Spring is here & the farmers have started working the fields in preparation of our growing season. After such a LOOONG, cold winter, it sure was nice to have two warmer, sunny days! Warm, sunny days are instrumental in determining when our fresh, homegrown produce will be ready to harvest. Although quite a few of our crops were recently planted, it often takes 60-90 days from the plant/transplant date until harvest … so if you do the math, you’ll see there won’t be very much to harvest until late May/early June … and later!
The farmers are anticipating the true arrival of Spring as much as we all are, but for now it’s pretty much a waiting game. We wait for those warm, sunny days. We wait for the soil to warm up so the plant roots want to grow. We wait for the field plants to mature, the buds to set, and the crops to grow. We wait, patiently, for the harvest to begin.
Jersey fresh, local grown produce is like no other. It’s SOOO much better than the supermarket produce we’ve been buying all winter- the produce that was grown hundreds & thousands of miles from here. So far, despite the cold weather, the farmers seem to be on schedule … but that doesn’t mean the plants are growing or that they will be ready to harvest on schedule. Every chance the guys have had, they devoted to tilling the ground & planting. Tilling & planting will continue to be an ongoing project as we work to ready & plant field after field. For now, here’s a quick look at the crops that we’ve already got planted:
- Strawberries … they were planted last year, they take a few years to grow. Although berries should be ready in late May, they’re still dormant & haven’t even thought about starting to grow.
- Garlic … that was planted last year too, but garlic likes it cool, so it’s not struggling with these cool temperatures as much as other crops are.
- Sugar snap & pod peas … although they were planted right after St. Patrick’s day, they JUST sprouted. It took that long for them to even start to grow! Both types of peas will be available for pick-your-own when they are ready to harvest, most likely in mid June.
- Romaine, iceberg, & red and green leaf lettuces … fresh, homegrown lettuce is the best! Lettuce will be one of the first crops we’ll harvest in late May, as they do enjoy cool weather.
- Red & green cabbage … there might even be some Savoy cabbage that’s been planted.
- Broccoli … an early season favorite.
- Kohlrabi … another lesser known early season favorite. Kohlrabi is good, nutritious, & is definitely a conversation starter!
- Kale … once you learn how to prepare it, you’ll find that kale is a great, versatile, “in” veggie.
- Onions … yellow, red, & white.
- Greenhouse tomatoes … not QUITE as good as a real vine – ripe Jersey tomato, but a close second! We ran out of room for all our greenhouse tomato plants & had some left over, so we planted them in the field. Yes, it’s WAY too early to be planting tomatoes in the field, but hey, they were extra so let’s see how they do!
- AND….not that it will be ready any time soon…but – the first field of sweet corn has been planted! Early plantings of sweet corn are another story for another day…but the important thing is that it’s in the ground, ready to start growing when Mother Nature says it can! We’re hoping that we can start picking sweet corn by the 4th of July.
Keep your fingers crossed that Mother Nature will be kind this season … kind enough to give us warm, sunny days, frost free nights, and just enough rain to keep the crops healthy. We’re excited that our season has started – excited that we’re (FINALLY) growing!