31 Mar What’s happening on the Farms
Early spring on the farms is a very busy time. Our farmers have been growing steadily throughout the winter, providing fresh, seasonal produce to our wholesale customers. Now the big push for preparing the soil and the beds is underway. Greenhouses are filled to capacity with seedlings: tomatoes, peppers, basil, cucumbers, squash.
A big problem for the farmers lately has been mice in the greenhouses. Mice are attracted to the warmth inside. Once in, they see what looks to them like a food buffet. Seeds lined up in all of the trays, just ready to be nibbled upon. They will dig up emerging plants and eat down the leafy greens. Ashley at Dettelbach Farms has had several flats of beets and kale mowed down by the pesky mice. Five Acre Farms has also had issues with their seedlings.
Non-toxic measures are employed to combat the problem. Ashley put up a metal barrier around her seed trays and has been covering them every night (in addition to the other farm duties she performs each day). It is helping so far. Kat at Five Acre has been relocating the trays to other areas for protection.
In addition to the loss of the seeds, when the plants themselves are lost, it is also a loss of time for the farmer. It takes several weeks of growing time to germinate the seeds and get the plants large enough to be moved to the soil. When the plants are destroyed, the farmer must start over or purchase seedlings. Luckily, within the cooperative, these farmers have access to seedlings when needed.