Late Spring at Riverland,

Here is the latest from Riverland Farm growers Meghan and Rob, who are busy raising vegetables and other sweet things!
Dear Friends,  

Cayden and Charlie checking on the status of the peas

     Happy Spring!  After a cold winter that we thought would never end… slowly but surely old man winter softened his grip and retreated back into his cave.   The plowing and planting season got off to a significantly later start this year than in the past couple.  Looking back in my records we actually planted peas a whole month later this year than we did 2 years ago and a full 2 weeks later than last year.  In general we got most crops in a little later than planned but even the things we got in on schedule didn’t do a whole lot of growing until May…
       It has been decidedly wetter this spring than last.  Last year we found ourselves pulling out the irrigation equipment before the calendar even turned to May and this year irrigation has hardly crossed my mind.  Despite the late start, in the last couple of weeks things have really started to take shape.  Our earliest plantings of beets, chard, broccoli, kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, and kale have recently put on an amazing amount of growth.  The strawberries are covered in flowers and some green berries
 and the peas though small are starting to turn the corner.
       The last two weeks have seen us scrambling between rain showers to get all of our transplants in.  We had a pretty epic transplanting day yesterday putting in our main season tomatoes, cantaloupe, and sweet potatoes.  All told over 14,000 plants went in the ground yesterday and there’s still plenty of planting to do!  There are some busy days ahead!! We’ll continue on the planting push while starting to switch gears toward preparing for harvest, wash room set up, and share room set up.

Sydney and Mike transplanting sweet potatoes

       Speaking of transplants…this year for the first time in our 8 year history we have an almost entirely new farm crew.  Most are transplants from out of the area while some are natives.  Given that there is so much new blood on the farm, it has lead Meghan and I into training mode this spring to bring everyone up to speed on our farming systems. We’ve found ourselves doing plenty of tasks that we haven’t done in quite a few years.  Overall the new crew is starting to hit their stride and just in the nick of time as things will certainly be ramping up heading into the harvest season.  We are happy to have Max Goetsman, Pete Wackernagel, Sydney Williams, Mike Fox, and Kelly Johnson make up our core full season crew and we are equally happy to have our Mexican summer crew of Hildardo, Rohelia, and Filimon headed up by Juan Hernandez who is in his third season with the farm.  We are looking ahead to a great season and are excited to get the harvest underway!
On behalf of the farm crew
Your Farmers,
Rob, Meghan, Cayden and baby Charlie