Best Crew EVER! It feels like summer camp when we all get back together for the season. Our work is about to get incredibly fast paced, but we are enjoying the last week or so of the ramp up. I love the end of April because we are starting our wholesale deliveries, the production crew is on its own well-oiled trajectory each day, the retail staff has returned for the season and the plants look fresh and gorgeous. There are many mini- transitions within our short season, and the longer I go through each cycle, more patterns emerge.
And I love that I get to see all of you! Have you stopped by the new cafe yet? In April, Vadeboncoeur is open Saturdays and Sundays. In May, Didier and Julianne will be set up every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 am until they sell out. It has been so nice to have a place to meet up with friends in the greenhouse, enjoy coffee and pastries, and just soak in the plants. Please come have a peek if you have not been yet. If you plan to linger a while, please use our north parking lot (follow the signs for “extra parking”) when you drive in. Today, Julianne has made Hot Cross Buns, radish tartines on rye, tangerine cake, chocolate cookies, and more. So good.
Garden tasks for the week:
Sow peas - Snow peas, sugar snap peas, and shelling peas can all get planted now.
Find a spot in the garden where you can set up a good trellis.
Make a trench that is flat across the bottom, about 6” wide, and 3” deep.
Scatter seeds across the whole flat trench, then cover with about 2” of soil and sprinkle with some Compost Plus on top of the soil.
Pound in posts or erect trellis at the same time or after they have germinated. They do best if given something to climb within a few days of germinating.
Watching the plants bend towards the trellis and seek it out with searching, gentle tendrils is pure magic. Show the kids.
Greensprout your potatoes to get a stronger crop that is ready earlier.
First, select your potatoes - we do sell out of certain ones, and we have some very good varieties this year. It is still a little early to plant them, but you could be like a professional grower and greensprout them. Here is how:
Spread potatoes out on a tray (cardboard or wood is best), then keep them in a warm spot. It can be light during the day because you are trying to break dormancy. Ideally, they should be at 70F to 80F.
Once you see sprouts, in about 7 to 10 days, put them outside to harden off. They can just stay like that another week, day and night. I leave mine on the picnic table, someplace where I won’t forget about them.
When you are ready to plant, cut any large potatoes in half or thirds, making sure each piece has at least one or two sprouts. Leave smaller potatoes whole.
When ready to plant, make a trench about 4” wide by 4” deep in a prepped garden bed.
Lay the pre-sprouted potatoes out every 8 to 12” in the bottom of the trench.
Cover the trench back up, and gently walk along the line of potatoes you have just planted to pack them tight against the soil. You could even make a little ritual of it, and take your shoes off. Feeling garden soil against bare feet is a nice way to usher in this new phase of spring.
Vermont adage - potatoes can go in the ground anytime that dandelions are blooming. So if you buy and sprout now, you will be getting the timing just right.