The days are getting longer, the sun feels stronger, and the snow is finally melting! With spring just around the corner, we are spending a lot more time at the farm seeding many varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers for your summer share and our 2nd annual May seedling sale.
Last year, we installed a greenhouse heater in our propagation greenhouse which allows us to keep the evening temperature above freezing (somewhere around 45℉) to encourage faster seed germination and plant growth. This is significant because we want our seedlings to be as healthy and strong as possible before we plant them in the fields. By giving the seeds optimal conditions in the early stages of life, we are helping to guarantee their chances of surviving the elements and potential pests and disease that they are sure to encounter. Some varieties —such as peppers, tomatoes, pansies, and celosia— require even warmer temperatures in order to germinate (anywhere from 65℉ – 80℉). For these, we have heated mats that we place under the seeded flats to heat the soil directly from below. This is very important this time of year, since the tables are already full of flats, and the evening temperatures have occasionally plummeted to 5℉!
Many of the seedlings will be transplanted into our fields in the coming weeks for share distributions starting in June. In addition, you’ll be able to purchase some for your own garden during the sale: mark your calendars for the weekends of May 11-12 and May 18-19 from 10 am – 2 pm! And spread the word—this event is open to the public. On May 11 and May 18, we’ll also have live music and face painting. We’ll let you know soon when you can view the list of varieties that will be for sale.
If any of you are interested in volunteering for the seedling sale, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The hours you work will count towards your work hour requirements, but you must email me ahead of time to set up an approved time slot and task. We will need help with parking, sales, face painting, greeting customers, and clean up. (If you arrive to volunteer on a day of the sale without getting in touch beforehand, I may have another project for you, but you won’t be able to help with the sale)
Thank you in advance for your help! Stearns Farm is lucky to have such an active and supportive community.
Until next time,