back in september (which feels like forever ago at this point), we held our very first crop mob and about a dozen hearty, awesome bossy fans showed up to help us plant.
as part of an experiment to see how well a few vegetables would do with taking root before the winter — back when we thought the winter would be a traditional snowy and chilly type — the plants ranged from siberian kale to carrots to bull’s blood beets.
the thought behind overwintering crops is that you plant them in the fall, around the time of the first frost. they begin to grow and take root, and then the second frost shoots through and makes them go dormant. when spring comes along, the vegetables already have their root systems established, so the farmer gets a jump on the season.
to encourage our little winter warriors, and keep them safe from hungry animals, we created small hoop tunnels with freeze-grade reemay that allowed airflow and light to come in, but critters and snow to stay out. when the beds were prepped, it was like tucking them in for the winter, and the portion of the field with those crops looked like it was filled with huge white caterpillars.
of course, after one of the few snowfalls of the season, the caterpillars looked a little flattened, but at least they didn’t get completely smushed.
with the warm weather, we took time this weekend to remove the covering and take a good look at our bossy bounty. that’s when we found out that, boy, are we good at growing weeds!
but among the weedy portions, some real vegetables peeked through, particularly the kale. the distinctive, jagged leaves of the carrots have appeared, along with some nice spinach leaves. it seems like we see more of the overwintering crops appearing every time we’ve gone to do some hoeing (of which there will be plenty), and with another farm excursion planned for tomorrow, we’re hoping to see another row begin to pop.
the fact that we’re watching some of our vegetables growing in the field at the beginning of april is stunning. but hey, we’re not complaining.
grow, bossy babies, grow!