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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Derrick-Mills

5 Weeks to Opening Day of On-Farm Market 2024 at Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm, Planting to Get Ready

Hello Family, Friends, and Neighbors of Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm!

We are excited that we are just 5 weeks away from opening the on-farm market at Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm for our 4th year providing the Middletown community with fresh, sustainably grown fruits, herbs, and vegetables.

  • We enjoy seeing all of you at the red and white tents, hearing about what you are growing in your gardens, and sharing what we have grown with you. See pictures below from last year.

Over the winter on the farm, we renewed several planting areas

We renewed the soil in the high tunnel as we always do.

High tunnel on farm with thriving cover crop and onions, dog walking inside
High tunnel with cover crop and onions

We built new raised strawberry beds, to increase the numbers of planting beds (and strawberries we can grow) and replace damage from last year.

Plant beds on top of barrels in farm field getting watered at sundown
Raised strawberry beds getting watered at sunset

For the last several weeks on the farm, we have been planting in the fields

Baby cauliflower plants poking through planting fabric
Early cauliflower planting (lost to high winds)
  • We start many seedlings in planting trays in the basement over the winter to get them ready for the farm field.

  • For example, we were so excited to get the cauliflower (seen right) out early. Unfortunately for us, the high winds came the next day and ripped them all out of the ground.

  • We had more ready to go an replanted, but as all farmers and gardeners in the area know, it has been a challenging spring with fluctuating temperatures and so much rain. Rain is good for planting, but you can have too much which makes planting difficult, washes away soil, or cause soggy bottoms.

  • Many of our other farm plantings are now under row-cover (see below). That helps protect the baby plants from the wind, moderates temperatures, and helps to ward off some pests.

  • The very green "grass" in between rows is actually our cover crop. Renewing the soil and helping it stay in place throughout all the rain.

White fabric over garden hoops held down by sand bags to protect early crops
Row cover in farm field protecting spring crops

You Can Get Ready for Fresh Veggies by Taking Classes to Expand Your Recipes

Purple aprons hang on a rack at Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm
Aprons ready for you to wear in your cooking class

We are on Year 2 of the Learning Kitchen at Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm. Check out classes available leading up to opening day:

Check back each week between now and opening day, to learn more about how we are getting ready

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