Did you know that Edible Eden sources most of our beautiful organic veggie seedlings from one of our best farming mentors Jack Gurley of Calvert's Gift farm? Jack has been making a living growing organic produce for the past 20 years or so and if someone knows the answers to all those endless farming questions...it's him. He has also been mentoring young farmers through Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture for the past several years and Edible Eden founder Josh Rosenstein had the amazing opportunity to participate in that program back in 2012. Jack has been watching the weather and the paying attention to the nuances of the seasons in this area for many years so- when he says this season is starting early...we believe him.
What that means is that while usually we wait until at least May 15th to plant warm season crops outside, this season we can start by May 1st. It also means many of our early season crops should grow faster and get tired sooner so keep your eyes on your lettuces! On the down side, it means we'll most likely have less time to enjoy our tender spring greens before they will need to make way for the warm season crops like tomatoes and cucumbers.
One new thing we are trying out this year is planting spinach seedlings instead of direct seeding. Jack made us trays of densely planted and beautifully germinated spinach seedlings and we have been planting them out all over the place. This allows us to space the little spinach plants more uniformly and get more succulent, healthy spinach leaves from smaller spaces. It also allows us to get a two week jump on the season as the seedlings are already a couple weeks old when we plant them.
Make sure to notice your spinach this year and let's see if this new way of planting does well!