Wednesday, February 8, 2012

pea sprouts and pig food

There are hoophouses going up all over the country. These unheated plastic covered structures are a way to extend the growing season in areas where it is too cold to do so without one.

I keep seeing photos of hoophouses that are empty. Nothing growing in them during winter, and it breaks my heart. The cheapest thing about growing is seeds, so we are planting all the time, sometimes with floating row covers, sometimes open.

We started what we thought was massive amounts of kale and collards last fall. Never imagined that we would eat and sell that many greens. Turns out we have none left, it is only February, and greens fresh from the hoophouse were really delicious..after cooking garlic and onions in olive oil in a cast iron skillet, washing the fresh cooked greens, dropping them in the pan with that much water, flipping them over just until they wilted..we and others could not get enough of them! The cold makes them sweet, there are no bugs or slugs..fantastic. We will fill the hoophouse next fall.

Now that the greens are done the peas are in. We put peas in last fall, and it turns out they really need to go in, around here, a little earlier. There were not many actual peas, but we were able to eat the greens and feed the pigs with pea greens as well.

Now there is a new planting of peas in the hoophouse. Several rows of trellis, double rows of peas. And now, February, they are growing. We are working on getting a jump on the season, on having peas for the CSA right from the start in mid-May. When peas are done as it heats up tomatoes go in. Peas fix nitrogen in the soil, tomatoes need tons of it. Happy tomatoes.

And a truck load of funky stuff, making for happy pigs. If it goes squishy they like it even better.

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