The early spring salad garden is being planted to make available freshly harvested, organic spring salad crops to shareholders throughout the shorter, cooler days of the growing season.
Several weeks after the first alfalfa and broccoli sprouts in mid March, our early salad greens begin (eight varieties featuring arugulas, hon sai tai, mizuna, komatsuna, and vitamin green). These are followed in mid April by lucious pea greens, lettuces, wonderful spinach, kale, and chard. Several early herbs always lend great flavors. We always try new things so there are always a few surprises. Ending early June, this garden is a nice "appetizer" for the more substantial and hearty summer season to follow
A definite sandwich and salad lovers delight, the spring garden offers a chance to eat great food, and get into the rhythm of weekly harvests, pick-ups/deliveries, and schedule adjustments required of the CSA production season. Busting winter cabin fever doesn't hurt either. Fresh egg shares (we're getting more now) are a nice compliment to these spring salads.
Most of these spring crops are raised under cold frame and greenhouse conditions. Production projections are approximate and depend on weather conditions. Most items are clean as harvested, but may require a quick rinse before eating. Only well aged and composted manures are used in the production of these salad crops. We have raised sprouts for ourselves for over twenty years and for CSA for ten years. We do take special care in their production. They are raised in clean covered plastic trays in the nursery under normal light and humidity conditions. They are dark green, tasty, and keep well. Cooler conditions of early spring keep them from becoming leggy or mushy. All containers are sanitized regularly in an hydrogen peroxide solution. The below listed share should provide 3 - 4 salads per week for several adults, based on past year's results. At earlier points in the year, all items may be combined in one bag for convenience and to reduce use of plastic bags. Current area planted should serve 30 shareholders. Delivery day is Thursday. Early deliveries are every other week.
Much work happens this time of year for us: planning, budgets, field preparation, seed orders, greenhouse and raised bed building, bedding plant starts, orchard pruning, repairs, personal renewal, ad infinitum! The spring garden broadens our production scope while contributing to our winter cash flow and sustainability. Our ability to make summer gardens and orchards truly successful is thereby enhanced.
Spring 2014 Crop Projections Table