Saturday, April 2, 2011

SPIRING PLANTING 2011- April 9th!

Spring is upon us once again, and not a moment too soon! Please mark your calendar now, for 1:00 pm Saturday, April 9th, for gathering in the SPUDS patch for our 2011 spring planting.

Thankyou for responding right away to confirm your ability to attend, or otherwise! The weather is currently promising to co-operate next Saturday, so here's hoping we can get all our potato seed in the ground that afternoon.

PLEASE BRING : a shovel or two, a bucket if you have one, garden gloves, and water to drink. If you have a hoe, it might come in handy, too.
Since we're meeting after lunch, there won't be any veggie chili this year, but as is our custom, there WILL be some kind of treat provided for sharing in celebration after our planting is done! (donations of a loonie or two appreciated for our refreshments coffer)

THE PLAN: As reported earlier in the year, and vetted by the membership, this year's planting will be scaled back significantly- commensurate with membership numbers and water availability. We'll be planting a total of ten rows, three feet apart and 45 feet long. Not as much work as in the past if we have a good turn out!

FIELD UPDATE: Our cover cropping regime is in full swing, with much of the field greening up nicely. So rather than bringing a tractor in to till the field this spring, we are conserving fossil fuel use and tilling just the one quadrant we are planting potatoes in with a borrowed rototiller. Member Dave Graf will be doing this work on our behalf today, Saturday, April 2nd. Mike and Fireweed will be assisting at the field site, and anyone who checks email before noon on Saturday and is interested in coming out on this short notice with a rake and hoe to join us is more than welcome! We're meeting from 10 am till noon.

We are going to be able to plant our seed much earlier this year since we are working in a higher (drier) part of the field. This means we will be able to harvest earlier, and possibly avoid the driest part of the summer (and another drought like last year's, if we're lucky!) Stay tuned for updates on a planned water catchment system in the works over our cistern. The volunteer fire department will only be delivering us two tankloads of water this year, so adequate water remains our biggest challenge in the field. Fewer plants will mean more water availability to each plant for growing more, and/or bigger potatoes...we hope!

MEMBERSHIP: Thanks to Max and Ron for once again picking up our potato seed and delivering it to Denman (Sieglinde potatoes, once again). We have 12 active memberships this year, and 2 supporting memberships.

The Field Management Sub-committee (FSC) would like to encourage each membership to consider aiming for six working visits to the field over the course of the growing season, as part of our co-operative goal of achieving greater sustainability. We know it isn't always possible to make it to all scheduled work-bees, but there are lots of opportunities for chipping in, and we'll keep you posted! We already know there are a few members unavailable for the planting date, so hope the majority of others can make it.

As always, anyone interested in being even more involved by joining the Field Management Sub-committee (FSC), or Communications Team is encouraged to get in touch. NOTE: SPUDS Basis of Unity Statement is now available on a seperate page of this blog.

If you have yet to pay this year's membership fee, please bring it with you to the planting or call to make other arrangements. On a final note for now, a hearty welcome to our latest SPUDS members, Graham Hayman and partner Kathleen Holden!