March 10, 2020
Spring is in the air at Stone Bank Farm these days. Last week I walked into the side entrance of the farmhouse, muck boots in hand, ready to help Farmer Kim prep the garden beds in the farm’s new high tunnel structure that sits back behind the greenhouse. As I entered the room, Kim was excitedly opening a small package that had just been delivered. With a big smile on her face, she pulled out two small containers with what appeared to be “tiny brown specks” —- just what Kim had been waiting for —- assassin bug nymphs! An organic farm like Stone Bank doesn’t use chemicals to battle their plant pests the way a conventional farm would, so organic farmers must develop an Integrated Pest Management Plan (IPM) which includes bio-controls like assassin bugs and lady beetles.
Kim empties a container of assassin bug nymphs onto the raised beds of spinach that reside in the greenhouse. Immediately after they’re harvested, the spinach leaves will be washed, spun and bagged in the large packing shed before they are brought over to the market.
Also delivered that day: Three bright shiny farm implements that will make growing vegetables and herbs in the farm’s new high tunnel structure a heck-of-a lot eaiser! What are they? The tilther (far left) works the top two inches of garden soil by using a battery-operated drill for power. The tilther incorporates soil amendments like bone meal and worm castings that, in turn, deliver vital nutrients to the plants making them healthier and more nutritious. The broadfork (middle) – helps to loosen and aerate the garden bed. The Four-Row Pinpoint Seeder (far right) creates a fast and efficient way for planting small to mid-sized seeds.
SPRING IS HERE!