This week we were prepared to spring into action (pardon the pun).
Daniel and Jeremiah arrived on Monday and two more workers will be rolling in over the next few days. We're going from one team member (me) to 5.
That's an 80% increase.
Which is good because a few things were starting to slip behind. Spring is a critical time of the year and everything HAS to be timely or you never recover. Wait a week or two to plant the peppers and you'll work all year tending plants that never ripen their fruit before the first frost kills them.
It would be nice to do all the work carefully and methodically and never open a new project until the older projects are finished, but on a farm it just can't work that way. We are working with a beast called the natural cycles of nature and you can't slow her down or speed her up--you just follow her lead and try to stay in step. Sometimes that means reigning yourself in and sometimes that means tripping over yourself to catch up. But you must keep up with the relentless dance partner.
So the arrival of help is great and just in time. In fact, I think we will be slightly over staffed at first. Hopefully we will be able to get on top of things and keep in step without getting behind.
One of the first things to do was to fire up the greenhouse. Up until now we've started all of our early season plants in our basement under grow lights. This helped us avoid heating the entire greenhouse in the early cold nights when there were only a few seedlings going. But now, we're running out of space and the plant starting is really taking off. Its time to move everything up to the greenhouse!
So fire up the greenhouse was priority one and Daniel got on it right away.
Until the furnace just wouldn't stay running! We checked all the basics and scratched our heads, and poked around under the hood, but no amount of amateur trouble shooting or youtube assistance could get the furnace to stay fired up. After just a few minutes it would click into some kind of automatic shut down!
At some point you have to give up, bite the bullet, and call an expert.
The next morning a repair man was on site and sorting through it all. In time he found one issue that was a simple fix and one issue that was not. Since we need the greenhouse running asap we didn't have much of a choice but to accept his diagnosis and get moving with a repair.
The basement is chalk full of plants and there are a LOT more to start this week. We're now already in the second half of the week and things are going to really slip behind if we don't get a repair ASAP.
At the time of writing, the new part is on its way. The furnace repair man GUESSES he will be able to get things running tomorrow.
Daniel and Jeremiah are starting seeds in the basement on the assumption that we'll be moving everything up there by Friday--we don't really have space in the basement for everything they're starting now, but moving in faith that the seeded flats will be able to spread out in the warm greenhouse within a day or two (before anything pops up and needs sunlight).
Its a bit of a gamble, but staying on schedule is crucial in the beginning!
I hate to end this blog post with a "stay tuned to see how this turns out" because that is just so click bait-y, but that is how we're living right now! Hold your breath, do what you can, and send up a prayer!
Tell next time,