Spring 2021 at Salty River Farm
Well, it's spring and with the warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours, everything is waking up from it's winter slumber. The lettuces in particular are growing big and fast, sometimes it seems like we can actually see things growing!
We have been super busy with our online orders for contactless home delivery due to the covid lockdown here in the Auckland region. We are very pleased we set up our online shop so our customers can still purchase our produce, and we still have an income. We're very grateful to our old and new customers for their support and that we took the opportunity to set up the shop, which makes us stronger going forward.
This winter we extended our hydroponic area so we can grow more lettuces and herbs and we're excited about having more to sell, particularly of our babyleaf and cos lettuce bags.
Checking for bugs and birds getting into our cloaches is an everyday job. We don't use chemical pesticides to control bugs, and keeping our plants healthy is our best defence. A weak plant will always get attacked. If we find bugs have attacked a plant, we throw that one plant out and often the bugs haven't got to the rest of the lettuces.
Sparrows are a real problem at this time of the year. They LOVE sweet green butterhead lettuces! They can completely wreck lots of lettuces very quickly. Bird netting and running tape between the gutters stops the sparrows from getting in. We have been so busy with home deliveries this spring we didn't have time to put tape in between the new hydroponic area gutters ... and the sparrows wrecked a whole lot of butterheads. We got the job ASAP once we realised!
The no-dig beds have been producing nicely over winter, with our kale and silverbeet doing the best. We experienced the warmest winter for many years, and our rocket didn't do well because of it. Preparations are now underway for spring planting, bean seeds are in the ground and zucchini, tomatoe, cucumber, watermelon, squash seeds are underway.
Last year's calves are growing bigger and really enjoy the vege offcuts. If they're in a paddock close-by they come running if they know we've got treats for them. We haven't raised any baby calves this year, we've been so busy. We'll look forward to raising more next winter.
We are excited about the summer crops, juicy flavour-some baby tomatoes, apple cucumbers, little cheerful sunbeam scallopini. Lots to look forward to!