2016, Week 5: Planting and Planning

Busy workday with all hands on deck at the farm on Tuesday. Delayed newsletter because I needed to spend as much time working outside before Wednesday’s rain started falling.

Ruth, Gaspar and I were extremely thrilled to find the ground dry enough to till, and spent all of Tuesday planting collards and broccoli seedlings – over 1000 of them, in fact!

If the temperatures drop into the teens in February, we will shelter the plants with row cover, to provide a few degrees’ protection. In 2015, I think around 80-85% of our earliest planting survived the 9-degree night, and those first few rows of gave us collards in large quantities from mid-April through early July!
One of the fields was dry enough for us to pull out the tractor and really (un)cover a lot of ground. Sid tilled enough rows for me to be able to direct sow seeds next week, as well as set out more transplants, when it dries out enough for me to walk  without compacting and damaging the soil. You must never till wet soil, as it will ruin the soil structure for years to come.
We are nearing our favorite time of year at Renfrow’s – gardening season! This however is sort of a misnomer – while most people think about gardening during the peak months of March-May, we live in such a climate where any gardener, with a bit of training, can plant and harvest year-round. Teaching and encouraging folks to maximize their garden space and grow more than just tomatoes and squash is one of my favorite parts of my job!

Here are two February excerpts from one of our favorite gardening resources to share with our customers – Poor Renfrow’s Almanac.

Holiday Calendar for your Garden of Eatin’

Remember, there is something to plant and something to eat from your Garden of Eatin’ 365 days of the year.

Super Bowl Weekend
Earliest starting of indoor seeds: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant. Cook up a pot of greens and make a spinach salad to go with your chips and beer! Pop up a skillet of your homegrown popcorn. Delicious! Plant earliest cole crops (broccoli, cabbage, collards, cauliflower) and onions

Valentine’s Day
Plant sugar peas, onions, fruits and berries, Irish potatoes, and asparagus. Second planting of cole crops. Plant lettuce, spinach, swiss chard (either seeds or plants). Get your gardening or foodie loved ones a thoughtful Valentine’s present (idea below!)

Click here to print off the complete Poor Renfrow’s Almanac. I am currently updating this one and will have a newly revised edition on the website soon.
If you are a teacher and gardening is part of your class curriculum, check out our Schoolteacher’s Edition of the almanac, centered around school holidays and crops that are easiest for children to participate in growing and enjoying.

Valentine’s Gift Idea – 
Renfrow Hardware gift certificates for the avid backyard gardener and/or hardware enthusiast
Renfrow Farms Gift Certificates in any denomination, and redeemable on produce, honey, and flowers anytime in 2016. Farm stand or produce boxes, bouquets or bulk buckets of flowers for a party, the possibilities are great.
Pick either one up anytime at Renfrow Hardware.