Sweet tomatoes and tender basil served at DaLou's Bistro on an appetizer salad alongside local sprouts and smoked fish.
We began June by planting our final seeds and sprouts. Admittedly June is quite late to be planting seeds in a high tunnel, but we couldn’t find time in May. In the first couple weeks we rushed to catch up on everything that needed to be done. We pruned and trellised the tomatoes, weeded the beds, and continued to call businesses. Around a week into June it became apparent that many of our beans and cucumber seeds haven't sprouted. After some investigation and research we came to the conclusion that cutworms were the culprit. To fight this we put out cornmeal which supposedly kills cutworms. Then we replanted the beans and hoped that the meal would work. In the following weeks we have had mixed results the beans have grown back better, but it seems that not all of the cutworms have died. Meanwhile the basil, tomatoes, and cucumbers were doing excellent. On June 19th we harvested our first crop of basil for Dalous we barely made the 6 lbs, but were very pleased when we did. Dalou’s has been great to work with, and hopefully we will be able to maintain our relationship throughout the summer. In the final weeks of June the first tomatoes sprang up. There are now both green cherry tomatoes and slicer tomatoes on several plants. In the following month we are estimated to harvest our first crop of tomatoes, beans, and hopefully peppers. We are also scheduled to tour the Northland College gardening system. It will be interesting to see how the plants grow with the increasing heat and to find some inspiration from other people’s farms.
In the week leading up to the first meeting Lily, Seth, and I (Caroline Ray) began to weed our assigned beds and rows to prepare them for planting. At the end of May we began by transplanting the basil, peppers, and the tomatoes.
At the same time we also set up the watering system and set up the timer. So far it has worked well, except for a few leaks which we have had to fix. One time an end piece popped off, and sprayed water which aided in the flooding of one of the pathways. We fixed the cap to stop the water and we have laid down hay to soak up some of the moisture.
The next week we planted all of our seeds; watermelon, cantaloupe, beans, basil, and cucumbers. While doing this we saw some cute cats.
The basil had grown enough that it was ready to pick, so we plucked the tops off and sold ½ lb to a para-educator. While I was picking it the whole high-tunnel smelt like basil, and it was wonderful. If the basil crop continues to grow at this rate we will be ready to sell to businesses by July. We also made calls to businesses, and our first one was a success; we sold all of our bean crop to Spirit Creek Farm. Next we called a bunch of restaurants most of which nobody answered, so we left some messages. We are hoping to sell most of our tomatoes to Dalou’s Bistro and The Fat Radish. A few places did answer and appeared interested, and we have received a few call backs. The future looks hopeful. It has been surprisingly fun to speak and work with businesses. I’ve also enjoyed negotiating prices, planning the high-tunnel, and recording data. I thought that I wouldn’t like the entrepreneur side of Agripreneurs so, it’s exciting to see that I love it! - Caroline Ray
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