Farm 2 ForkShaker Gardens

Hello from Shaker Organic Gardens, April 2016!

by Stacey Cooper, Co-op Organic Farm Manager

A brief update on garden things…

Our tomato, eggplant and pepper seedlings have germinated and are being moved into the sunlight in the hoop house each day. Chard and kale seedlings have developed true leaves and are looking sturdy. They should be ready for transplanting into the field in about 2 weeks, weather dependent.

We got our onion seedlings hardened off and transplanted into the ground of the old hoop house this week. The onions produced will be donated to the NH Food Bank, a Co-op Community Partner.

Our first crop of field spinach and beets have germinated and our transplanted rhubarb and strawberries seems to be taking off! The garlic crop seems a bit ahead of schedule and is sizing up very nicely! Last week we planted 25 rhubarb, 500 strawberry and 200 asparagus plants.

We have a nice diversity of vegetable 6 packs seeded for our June plant sale, a fund raiser for Canterbury Shaker Village. Stop by the Farm Stand out the front of the Village, Saturday June 4th from 10 am – 2 pm for a variety of plants to put in your garden at home.

In our final garden workshop, to be held this weekend, we will complete our final raised beds. These beds will be planted and seeded next week to scallions, beets and carrots for Micro Mama’s use in her fermented vegetable products. Look for Micro Mama’s in the Co-op’s produce cooler and also on the salad bars and deli counter at our Concord store.

I’ve seeded 40’ of snap peas and about 15’ of radish in the field. I also harvested our first radish and dropped them off at the Co-op earlier this week. Keep an eye out for early crops sporadically from Shaker Village in the Co-op’s produce coolers, especially more radish and some rhubarb.

By next week we should have our temporary deer fence up and going to keep the deer, ground hogs and heifers out of the crops this season, with any luck.

Still contending with mice and voles in the hoop house. Today I am going to try using some peppermint essential oil to help keep them away from our seedlings as the peppermint leaves I used in the fall and late winter seemed to be very effective deterrents. Let me know in the comments if you have any successful all-natural mice deterrents that you swear by!

Stacey Cooper

(PS Stacey in her downtime, which being a farmer there isn’t much, is training for the upcoming Rock ‘N Race. If you would like to donate to the Payson Cancer Care Center and support Stacey and the Co-op Team, click here!)