Farmer Zippy's Notebook: Spring on the Farm!

Zippy, translated by Hannah
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Spring is here! All the plants (and birds and bugs and other animals) on the farm are waking up, and there’s TONS of work to do!

We spend lots of days in the garden on the waterwheel planter (What’s that, you ask? Find out here!). We’ve been planting lettuce, lettuce, lettuce, scallions and onions and more lettuce. Soon we’ll be planting our squash and eggplant and tomato and pepper plants out in the field. We plant some things by hand, too - last week we planted potatoes! You cut up the potatoes into pieces and then carry them through the field in buckets while you drop them in the holes. That’s heavy work! Before we plant in each field we till in the winter cover crops and spread compost to help fertilize the soil. In a day spent planting, you get REALLY muddy.


We also spend lots of days in the greenhouse. It gets really hot in there in the afternoon, with the strong spring sun! When it’s nice out we roll the sides up to let a breeze through. We make soil blocks in plastic trays, and plant individual seeds in each block. Popsicle sticks with pointy ends are great to help pick up seeds that are too tiny for your fingers (or in my case, hooves!). Farmer Sarah keeps track of everything that needs to be seeded, and there’s a LOT to keep track of! She marks down the dates things get seeded on and the dates they’re supposed to go out in the field, and she uses a calendar system with no months, so each day has a number, from 1 to 365. Confusing!

Guess what else we’re planting? Apple trees! It’s a fun thing to do on a chilly spring day - dig lots of holes, all in a row, and then put the little trees in them, and cover their roots with dirt and stomp them down. Here's where you can watch how we do it! They look like such babies - they’re so tiny, and their branches are barely twigs! In a couple years they’ll start to produce fruit. It’s strange to think how big they’re going to grow up to be!

Guess what else? The orchard is blooming! This is the most beautiful time of the year - even prettier than fall, I think. All the trees are full of flowers, and the sun is shining, and the fresh air gets in your blood and makes you happy! There’s lots to do here these days. It’s a good thing I have a winter’s worth of rest and pent-up energy - it takes a lot of work to get the farm woken up for the season!