Hello CCCC Farm Bloggers,
There are lots of exciting things happening at the Central Carolina Community College Farm these days. The wheels are in motion concerning what is to be planted in the ground for spring crops. We are out there turning under the cover crops, plants that add valuable nutrients to the soil when cash crops are not being planted. Adding non-synthetic implements, so the fruits and vegetables have what they need to grow and develop. There’s lots of hard work and planning that goes into an organic farm, trying to work with Mother Nature, instead of against her.
Maybe, as you where out on the nature trail, enjoying one of the warm sunny days we have had this winter, you noticed the half round structure covered in plastic on the farm. It’s called a hoop house and is one of the many ways a farmer can get a jump on the planting season. The aluminum structure is light weight but sturdy. Our advanced organic farming class, about 16 students, each grabbed a section and moved it with not trouble. The plastic covering allows the suns warmth and valuable UV rays to penetrate and simulate a spring like environment. There are all sorts of little green edible plants making their way through the soil. Some days, if we’re not careful and forget to open the doors for ventilation, it gets way to hot, over 100 degrees. Another season extender, you may have noticed walking by, is the pieces of cloth that covers the whole row. Row covers, protect the crops from frost and also help retain warmth from the earth.
Walking around the farm, I have seen a few bees buzzing around. I know they are ready to get out of their hive and get back to work. It’s hard to believe but a healthy hive contains thousands of bees. Who knew? A strong queen bee lays around 1500 eggs a day. Bees are some amazing creatures. If anyone is interested in bees, Chatham County Co-operative Extension puts on an excellent introductory class every couple years.
Winter is at its halfway point, so we are on the back 9. Get outside when you are able, hopefully using the nature trail at the school. Take a good look at the school farm because things should be popping through the soil really soon…