Thursday, March 9, 2017

It's Spring and look who's Blooming!

We get asked all the time as farmers, "What do you do in the 'off' season? What if it snows? What if the weather changes?"... etc. And the answer is pretty simple... There is no "off" season. Sure, the weather may not cooperate from a day to day basis during the Winter months. But if plants aren't growing, it doesn't mean that we are sitting, waiting, and watching.

This year in fact we had a totally different approach. Due to the success of Charlotte's first Kriskindlmarkt (Christmas Village) and a grant from the local group Farm Hands Charlotte, we were able to get a head start on Spring like never before!

Strawberries were planted late October.. in hopes of harvest in late April. Spring, however, had other plans! We will probably be harvesting within this month or so! "So soon?" you ask. Trust me. We're just as floored as you. So with weather changes comes ingenuity and careful planning.

As most of you may or may not know, Farming is not an exact science. In fact it is a lot of trial and error. We do precision based guesswork, based on data and information that can change at any time. So basically a nicer way of stating that we "roll with the punches". And our team is taking those punches like a champ!

Not only are we over a month ahead on planting; we have finished constructing our new beautiful greenhouse, we have finished updating and securing 'Chicken Run' (our coop), we have started germination of all vine clippings, and now we begin our new seed cells for our Summer crops!

It is so rewarding to put a seed into the ground and days later see the green peeking through the soil...

We can't wait to bring this year's produce to market! We will, of course, have our usual... tomatoes, onions, lettuce mixes, asian green mixes, arugula, strawberries. But we are also trying our hand at some new veggies. Jerusalem Artichokes (a totally tubular tuber!) shaped like a ginger root and tastes like a potato... we are excited for the new addition to the family!

As always with changing weather, comes changing growth rates... therefore, when strawberries are ready to harvest.. we will be opening the Farm Stand. It is a little earlier than normal... but then again when is the last time we had an 80 degree day in February?? That being said keep an eye out for updates at the farm. We love providing fresh, local, organic produce to the public.... so the sooner we can do it... the better!

Thank you for all the support. We really are having a great year at Dover Vineyards so far.. and there is so much more to come!

 Our New Greenhouse!
 Sprouts of mixed greens!
 The start of a pea plant!
 Jerusalem Artichokes
 Green strawberries ...almost there!

-Olivia, Dover Vineyards

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