• Kalamazoo Bank St. Farmer’s Market is less than a week away! May 2nd, 7am-2pm (http://farmersmarketkalamazoo.com/)
  • Our stall faces the stage and courtyard, so it’s easy to find us. Come say hello, Britt will be there with a few starter plants and a small array of veggies.


Britt and I transplanted some beets today. We tried this last year, and it worked with great success, yields were better than direct seeding, and the plants outcompeted weeds more easily.



We start many of our plants in various sizes of plug flats, sometimes known by the amount of small cells per tray, such as a 288 or a 105. Transplanting from these flats prevents loss in the field from poor germination, since we can control the environment better indoors. In the middle of the coldest day in April, you walk into a humid, active greenhouse and you have entered a different world.

The fields that had their fall rye cover crop on them have been tilled under. Cover crops are one of the simplest ways to improve your soil. Rye provides nutrients after it’s been tilled under, and is a green manure by decomposing into organic material that makes the soil a healthier, more attractive place for other organisms like worms and fungi to live. Most of our fields get rye in the fall because it’s the cheapest cover crop seed we’ve found, but I’m sure that there are better. We know farmers who do nothing and we know some who plant odd stuff like daikon radish and vetch.

Last year, we left some of our garlic scapes on until they exploded into seed flowers. It’s pretty cool, and you get a bunch of bulbils, which are essentially garlic cloves the size of a small seed, like a sunflower seed. These bulbils are planted the same fall after harvest, or in the spring. We’re experimenting because we had more than expected. Just yesterday I found some the made their way to the ground last fall, and have sprouted up as small garlic plants.


These things are packed with garlic flavor. Very similar to ‘green garlic’ that is older and larger than these. You can see at the very base of the plants the thin roots connected to a small bulb, like a scallion. Garlic growers will leave these bulbils in the ground all summer and harvest with their other crop, cure and save the seed again (for a second year) and plant. This two year process is integral for some garlic farmers because they always have a source of quality, diverse seed stock.


Happy end of April, our last frost date is nearing. The National Weather Service is calling for a light frost early Tuesday (4/28) morning, but the rest of this week looks frost-free. If I remember correctly, we’re about 1.5 – 2 weeks earlier than last season. Woohoo!