Growers Row: Hey André! Hey Plant Sale!

By Lauren Kaplan, Crew Leader

It’s SPRING… and gosh golly gee do we have some good stuff cookin’ this month.

First, we’re growing our team! Welcome André, who comes to us with a solid farming background, a (much appreciated) eye for detail, and a great big smile. As FoodShare Coordinator, André will be facilitating the donation of thousands of pounds of produce to our 12 FoodShare partners in and around Poughkeepsie. We are so thrilled to have him as part of our team for the 2019 season.

Also we are growing PLANTS. Lots of them. The tunnels are bursting with bright green arugula and mustards, and the greenhouse is finally starting to feel like itself again: the air inside is warm, the seeding table is in regular use, and all available surfaces are quickly filling with flats of seedlings. And some of them could go home with YOU!

That’s right: the next big thing we’ve got cooking is our Plant Sale.

As usual, our plant sale will feature around 100 varieties of starts -- everything from vegetable starts (of course) and potted strawberries to a wide selection of annual and perennial flowers and flowering herbs. Some have medicinal qualities, some are good for tea, some attract bees and butterflies and hummingbirds, and some (sunflowers! echinacea! rudbeckia!) are just plain pretty. We’ve tweaked our list this year, and will have some exciting new varieties.

Unlike past years, however, this year’s event is more than just a plant sale. This year, to mark 20 years (!) of this amazing PFP community, we are having a festival! We hope you’ll come celebrate with us at Farm Fest & Plant Sale, happening Saturdays May 4 & 11 from 9am-3pm.

In addition to the seedlings destined for the plant sale, we’re also starting lots of plants for our own fields. Tomato seedlings are headed to the high tunnel, where they will grow in a protected environment and eventually produce thousands of pounds of red tomatoes for CSA. Leeks and scallions, also destined for CSA, are headed into the fields, which are at the moment too cold and wet to plant into. And the first round of kale and collards, beets and chard, are right behind them.

We’ll be busy this month, clearing out our winter greens after a successful Winter CSA season to make space for incoming high-tunnel tomatoes, seeding up a storm, spreading compost, and even (though it doesn’t feel real on this gray grim end-of-March day) planting in the fields. We hope you’re not so busy that you can’t find a little time to go on a crocus-spotting stroll or splash around in an April shower puddle.