At Deep Run Farms, we’re taking advantage of this great, warm weather, and have gotten an early start planting vegetables for our 2012 Maryland CSA program.
It’s only March, and we’ve already planted 2 acres of sweet corn, as well as onions, spinach and beets. Today, Greg Horner, with the help of his trusty side-kick Jules, laid down white and black plastic to prepare the fields for more crops.
Plastic helps keep the soil moist, with black plastic designed for warm season crops (tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon) and white plastic for cool season crops (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, beets, spinach, and potatoes). For the first time this year, Deep Run Farms will be using green plastic for even greater heat retention than black plastic, which will be particularly beneficial to their cantaloupe and watermelon crop.
Greg expects the weather to be better this year than last, which presented some extreme challenges. “Last year was real wet in the Spring, then nearly a drought during the summer, followed by a Hurricane and Tropical Storm in August,” said Greg, “I don’t expect it to be that extreme this year, but we always prepare for the worst. We always take measures to irrigate and keep the soil moist, which got us through last July and half of August, when we barely had any rain.”
“We don’t expect weather like last year, but if there is, we’ll be ready…”
Deep Run Farms took extensive drought prevention measures last year, using no-till farming to increase the moisture and organic nutrients in the soil, and decrease erosion. Using this method of conservation tillage was especially effective for preserving our pumpkin and sweet corn crop.
Our pumpkin harvest was so robust, it was featured by the official blog of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). “In August, we were doing a thousand dozen sweet corn a day,” said Greg, “and new people were coming to us because their regular wholesale produce supplier didn’t have it.”
An early start to planting means Sweet Corn and other crops will be available sooner to our CSA and Wholesale customers…
Greg continued, “We always try to take those kinds of measures, which is why I’m starting so early this year. I saw that there was moisture in the soil, the temperature was up, meaning it was fit to plant, so we haven’t wasted any time. We’re way ahead of last year, when we weren’t able to start until near the first of May.”
Our Maryland CSA customers will be seeing sweet corn earlier, and the fields will be ready and in optimal condition to produce crops early. This year, we’re expanding our CSA program considerably, so there are still plenty of spots open.
Deep Run Farms’ Community-Supported Agriculture serves Hampstead, Maryland and surrounding areas, providing CSA Membership and Wholesale Produce to Finksburg 21048, Hampstead 21074, Henryton 21080, Lineboro 21088 21764, Manchester 21102, Marriotsville 21104, Reisterstown 21136, Upperco 21155, Westminster 21157 21158, Keymar 21757, Mt. Airy 21771, New Windsor 21776, Sykesville 21784, Taneytown 21787, Union Bridge 21791, Woodbine 21797, Woodsboro 21798, Rocky Ridge 21778, Emmitsburg 21727, Mt. Airy 21771, New Windsor 21776, Sykesville 21784, Taneytown 21787, Union Bridge 21791, Woodbine 21797, Woodsboro 21798, Rocky Ridge 21778, Emmitsburg 21727, Finksburg 21048, Hampstead 21074, Henryton 21080, Lineboro 21088 21764, Manchester 21102, Marriotsville 21104, Reisterstown 21136, Upperco 21155, Westminster 21157 21158, Keymar 21757.