Late July News

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Summer is here! And so are red ripe tomatoes! What a wonderful time of year; long days of warmth and sun, punctuated by needed rainfall.  After a slow and late start, this growing season has been ideal for plants, and humans too!

Tomatoes have ripened up and we are now selling 10 lb. flats of our 'cosmetically challenged' tomatoes for $15/flat.  Our wholesale accounts demand perfect looking fruit, so any tomatoes that don't make the grade are sold at a discount here, at Cate Farm.  We are open Tuesday through Saturday from 8am to 6pm.  Tomatoes are self-serve, please bring exact change or a check made out to Cate Farm.  Supply is on a first come, first served basis, but we do our best to keep the table stocked.  If you want to buy more than two flats, please email us at catefarm@gmail.com so that we can accommodate you.

In other farm news: Our seedling season was a success, thanks to all our wonderful customers.  Hopefully your gardens are thriving and bountiful and we would love to see pictures!  Post photos to our Facebook page or use #CateFarmGarden on Instagram and we'll share your photos on our website. 

We are now all planted out in the field, and tending to the crops  before the Fall harvest. Burdock root has been hand weeded and cultivated with various tractor mounted tools and the leaf canopy is starting to close over the rows.

We are experimenting with growing some industrial hemp for CBD production, some in the field, and some in the greenhouses. The CBD hemp market is a rapidly moving target, but so far so good.

Thanks for your support, and have a wonderful summer!

The team at Cate Farm.

 

Late May News: Hardening off Seedlings Before Transplanting

Flint prepares flats of onions for their move outdoors.

Flint prepares flats of onions for their move outdoors.

Garden seedlings can be put into two basic categories: seedlings that are tender, and seedlings that are hardy. Tender plants will not tolerate temperatures below 32℉ (i.e. they will die), while hardy seedlings can experience frosts and freezing temperatures and survive. There is a range in each category, some plants being very tender like basil, and some very hardy like onions. For specifics about the hardiness of your seedlings, check out Johnny’s Seeds Grower’s Library. They some wonderful tips on hardening off specific types of vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers.

At Cate Farm, we start everything from seed here in our greenhouses, in East Montpelier. Once plants have been potted up, some remain in a greenhouse before being sold, while others are grown outdoors on benches to harden them off. The plants that remain in a greenhouse benefit from a gradual transition to the outside growing environment before transplanting to your garden.

Cate Farm greenhouses have roll up side walls, so seedlings experience some wind even though they are not outside. That being said, the greenhouse plastic diffuses and reduces the impact of direct sunlight, provides plants with extra heat during sunny days and protects them from cooler nighttime temperatures. To get your greenhouse plants ready for transplanting, we recommend that you incrementally expose them to direct sunlight for a few hours a day. A little wind is good too, but not too much. Move the plants from direct sun to your porch, or bring inside if below 40℉. After a few days of this treatment, your plants will be ready to put in your garden.