Flaming Seedlings 5/24/24

Flaming Seedlings 5/24/24

Posted by Mandy + Steve O'Shea on


Happy Friday y’all!
   I’m just getting out of a meeting with the crew on how to improve everything behind the scenes for next year.  Our path forward is always dictated by our relatively small space, which can be a challenge, but has a silver lining of always pushing us towards greater efficiency and a lot of great plans came out of the spontaneous morning collaboration.  We’re looking forward to reshuffling everything and bringing more flowers and plants to y’all going forward in a way that supports our crew’s workflow.
   Prior to that, we planted all the dahlia seedlings in the upper most field adjacent to the farm store.  It’s our favorite plot every fall, because we don’t harvest the flowers and we never know what new shapes and colors of dahlias we’ll get to see.  It’s our special place to let nature crossbreed our favorite southern varieties in the hopes of creating brand new varieties that have all of our favorite qualities for a cut flower.  If you go to the farm store, you can see it by looking out the 3 windows on the left.  We anticipate them being in flower by late August.
   Speaking of the farm store, we have 2 weeks (we are open Thursday-Saturday) left before we close it for summer, and today and tomorrow all visitors get 2 free dahlia seedling tubers while supplies last.  These are the tubers of dahlias that were crossbreed in the very patch I just mentioned, so the shape and color will be a bit of a surprise.  Come on out and get some mystery dahlias!
   We also just planted a plot of chili peppers for our friends at The Plate Sale to use in their Sweet Freak sauce.  It’s always got great flavor and we’re looking forward to the new batch. Check it out here!
   I’ve gotta get back out there to help Mandy set up the irrigation for all these new plants and to flame weed beds ahead of the next dahlia tuber plantings.  Flame weeding is a common technique for organic farmers to use instead of using synthetic herbicides.  It’s not easy or fun, but it eliminates countless weeds from out-competing and overgrowing our dahlia plants.  You have to shape beds, water them (or let them get rained on), wait a week or two for tiny weeds to germinate, then hit them with a super hot torch (think flame thrower) to sap the life out of their leaves.  If you wait too long, the weeds become too hardy and it doesn’t work.  If you go too early, you miss the weed seedlings and it doesn’t work.  Timing is important.  For us, to do 2 acres, is a full pain in the rump.  We have to carry a full propane tank on our backs in a funky rigged up backpack made of 2x6’s, bungee cords, and ratchet straps and soak up the significant heat on an already hot and muggy day.  We do this for hours over many days.  It is not delightful but very effective and saves us from backbreaking hand weeding later in the season. 
   Just got a text that I’m needed in the field, so I’ve got to go, but I hope y’all have a nice weekend.
Steve