Category Archives: Greenhouses

Summer Sunset on the Greenhouses

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Coming soon: Leafy Greens!

Last week I was driving truck for Idaho’s Bounty Co-op picking up lots of potatoes,  onions, squash and meat from farms around the Magic Valley like M&M Heath Farms, Kings Crown Organics and bringing it to the Treasure Valley to sell. Purple Sage Farms produce is also distributed by this online co-op and available for anyone to buy at www.idahosbounty.org.

This week on our farm we are harvesting lots of sweet spinach that survived a bitter cold winter.  The cold wind is blowing outside but on a sunny day in the greenhouse hoeing and harvesting make it feel like spring already.

This spinach was planted in Sept. 2012. Now, in Feb., it is really starting to produce!

This spinach was planted in Sept. 2012. Now, in Feb., it is really starting to produce.

For the past couple years we have been changing a lot of plastic on our hoop-houses. That’s because a lot of them were put on around the same time 6 to 8 years ago and have now reached the end of their lifespan. When the wind gusts get up to 45 mph you can barely hear another person talking inside one of the houses because the the frame flexes and the plastic whips in the wind. Then it tears open. The house that lost plastic last weekend was the oldest out of the 12 houses and I had been expecting it to go in a storm since last summer. Hopefully we won’t have plastic trouble for a few more years after we repair this one.

In mid Feb. a windy night tore the plastic off the house full of curly kale that lived through the winter.

In mid Feb. a windy night tore the plastic off the house full of curly kale that lived through the winter.

We planted our first round of seeds for mustard greens and lettuce in the hoop-houses this past week.  These crops germinate in 3 to 5 days and begin senescence, start to flower and mature, within 4 to 6 weeks depending on the season. If we get a lot of sun in the next few weeks I think we will have our first harvest in mid-March.

These seeds were planted 3 days ago and after 3 sunny days they are eager to get the season started.

These seeds were planted 3 sunny days ago, they are eager to get the season started.

Dill, Cilantro, Pea shoots, lettuce mix, watercress, are all planted in the hoop-houses now but grow a little slower than the mustard greens. All winter I have been missing our wide variety of greens like tender tatsoi, mizuna or miner’s lettuce. Come March and April, we will get those greens back on our plates. I can’t wait!

Michael Sommer