Thursday, May 29, 2008

Farm Happenings

I think where I left off last was that the plants were growing in the greenhouses, and the fields were getting plowed. Here's what's happening now.

These are the plants in the greenhouse that are ready to be planted. I think these are tomatoes.

I think these are eggplants, also ready to be planted in the fields.
Here they are laying the plastic in the fields before they plant. The plastic helps keep the weeds out and allows them to water the plants by drip irrigation and add fertilizer to the soil as needed. (in my not so professional opinion)

Watch this video to see how the plastic is layed. They can now do three rows at a time with the new tractor part they just bought last year. They used to only do one row at a time.

After the plastic is down, they have to pull back the white part (which will be the tunnel), put wire rims up (to make the tunnels) and poke holes in the plastic where the plants will go. Actually I think they poke the holes first.

They load the plants onto trailers to move them to the field for planting.Here they are planting cucumbers in the field below our house.Now that the plants are in they will pull the white plastic up over the wire rings and hold it in place with the clothes pins. The tunnels creat a greenhouse effect, since it is still cold here in Michigan they can plant much earlier in the summer than without the tunnels. They protect the plants and it gets much warmer inside the tunnel than outside which helps them grow, and the end result is produce much earlier. They don't do the whole farm it tunnels because it is too expensive and requires more labor. They do about 100 acres of tunnels. The rest of the plants get planted after it is warm enough to not have to worry about frost. I was surprised to find out that they use the farmers almanac to determine when they can start planting outside.
This picture was taken from my porch. This is a field of Tomato plants. I am super excited to have tomatoes planted by our house this year. Last year they planted pickles which are only grown for a short time in the summer and then they are done. We will have vine ripe tomatoes here from mid July to end of September. And I wont have to go far to get them.
I took this picture this morning. I can't believe how big the plants are now. Here's a view from inside the tunnel.As it gets warmer and the plants get bigger they will start to open the tunnels up more.


Cecelia said...

Wow! I can't believe how big the tomatoe plants are. This is a very interesting blog entry. I hope you keep up on the farming throughout the summer.

Elle J said...

Love the post; fascinating, had no idea. Would enjoy reading more about farm life. :)

Tina in CT said...

This is so interesting. You need to do the farming book for Anthony.

Tomatoes outside the door is wonderful!

Denise said...

I think your "documentary" is very cool and interesting. Everytime I eat a vegetable I'll have a new appreciation for all the hard work it takes to get it to my table!

Mandy Lou said...

I'm loving the farm happenings - it's so cool!

And I am insanely jealous about your tomatoes - I think I just don't have enough sun, mine are always weak.

Cecelia said...

Bob said he thinks your tomatoe plants are pepper plants.

Rachael said...

I want some of those tomatoes. Just putting in my order! :)

Francie said...

That was a very interesting documentary! I couldn't help but watch the video, too!
Pretty cool stuff. So, mid-July for the tomatoes? I'll be over!

Paula said...

I love seeing the way it works. How neat to have all of the fresh veggies right out your back door.