The Birth of a Nursery 12/8/23

The Birth of a Nursery 12/8/23

Posted by Mandy + Steve O'Shea on

Howdy y’all!

   We’re beginning an exciting transition and are currently digging up all of our mum plants from tunnel 7, potting them up, and moving them across the farm to create our new nursery in the propagation house.  The prop house is where we take all of our seedlings and grow them out in trays before planting them in the high tunnels (greenhouses) or fields.  Years ago I built waste high tables to fill it, so we could grow all our babies in there in an ergonomic fashion and they’ve served us well.  Change is inevitable however and our new mum project is so big that this one dimensional approach wouldn’t cut it anymore, so all of the tables are moving out and 7 or 8 rows of 4 tiered metal shelves are taking their place.  We’ll effectively have 4x more growing space in the same footprint and we’ll need every inch of it.  I still have to figure out supplemental lighting and irrigation, which is obviously 4x more involved, but we’re pretty pumped on the transition.  We’ve already got one wall of racks completely filled with new potted plants.

   Back in tunnel 7, we have cleaned the dug up beds of old plant material, fertilized them according to soil samples, tilled them with a walk behind tiller, raked them into the desired shape, ran irrigation lines, and saturated the soil for tomorrow’s planting of snapdragons.  It was 22 degrees when we started working today (Thursday), so there’s always a part of your mind that says “hey buddy, shouldn’t you be at the computer doing taxes by the heating vent or maybe taking a nap or something?”, but a little manual labor starts and you find you don’t even need your sweatshirt after 20 minutes, so all it really takes is that first push to get out the door and then the day moves along fine.

   Over the weekend, Mandy spent days and nights working on making the Farm Store cute as heck for you holiday shoppers and she just got it finished 5 minutes before opening time this Tuesday.  We’ll be open through Sunday and then back again next Tuesday-Sunday for our special holiday hours.

   We’ve got some other spring flower excitement that is still in the very experimental stages, so I’ve been sworn to secrecy, but we’re incredibly eager to see if our hopes come to fruition.  All I can say is it’s a new variety of a favorite flower that we’ve never actually seen outside of a picture and we have some really big hopes that it’ll live up to …..well…our hopes.

   Pretty as the picture is important, but it also has to be disease resistant, weather tolerant, grow strong stems, have good vase life, and be productive.  Our first effort at starting tons of seeds failed miserably and the second effort was looking weak as well, but upon returning home from a holiday week in CA, we were greeted by seed tray abundant in chlorophyll saturated cotyledons!  We’ve now stepped them up into 72 cell trays and are eager to see what their future will reveal. Fingers crossed!

   Well it’s been a 13 hour work day for me, so I’m gonna wrap this up, brush chops, and catch some zzzz’s.

   I hope you all have as wonderful a weekend as possible.  Probably getting rain in these parts.  Put on your galoshes and stomp in a puddle.

Until next Friday,