Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Lettuce Dance

It occurred to me the other day that succession planting is a great experiment in choreography. Keeping everything in time and rhythm can be an enormous challenge. But when it works, it is a thing of beauty…and deliciousness.

When I start lettuce/greens for planting in the hoophouse, the cyclical dance begins. Two or three weeks later, those plants are put in the ground in the hoophouse to finish out their productive life. This gives our customers (and us) between 3 and 4 weeks of fresh, tender, delicious green stuff. That would be lettuce, spinach, arugula, kale…you get the picture.

Once this cycle comes to an end, I pull the plants and haul them to the chickens. The hens seem to love scratching through the greens and eating the leaves and any bugs. This is part of what keeps the yolks bright and the eggs delicious.

At this point, Tom tills the ground again.

I plant again. (Within two days, the new growth is evident.)

Then, I return to the greenhouse, re-fill the flats, re-seed and continue the cycle.

It will just be a few weeks to a new crop of delicious lettuce, spinach or other green. If I keep up with the whole cyclical dance, we will never be without fresh greens again!

(well, one can always HOPE!)

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