By Shannon Raider-Ginsburg
Farm Manager

The brook moved in a hurry, as all thing move in a hurry in the spring.

children’s book Scuffy the Tugboat.

Hurry indeed! Last year at this time there was still a foot of snow on the ground and the daytime high was around 20.

Photo by Mel Morales/VIP Photography

Photo by Mel Morales/VIP Photography

Today the frogs are already singing next to the garden, I’m sneezing from the first pollen being released, and the bees are furious at the entrance to their hive.

As I write this, the temperature outside is an anxious 65° F and we are starting our first greenhouse flats, onions! So much to follow in the coming weeks and the farm spills out of the office and onto the soil. Lettuce, broccoli, kale, and chard are just a few crops that will join the onions in the greenhouse. Carrots, seeded in February in the high tunnels, will start to show their cotyledons, and radish and scallion are seeded in good company directly into the soil.

And let us not forget peas by St. Patrick’s day! This year that can definitely happen!

We also welcome a new high tunnel in our field. The greenhouse is built with grant money from the United States Department of Agriculture/Natural Resources Conservation Services Environmental Quality Incentives Program that supports small farm infrastructure.

A new high tunnel on the farm at Common Ground

A new high tunnel adds so much to Common Ground’s urban farm.

The use of high tunnels helps producers in many ways, including:

  •  Extending the growing season
  •  Improving plant quality and soil quality
  •  Reducing energy and pollution use by providing consumers with local fresh produce
  •  Reducing pest and disease pressures

This year we will be putting all our cucurbit crops, cucumber, and summer squash, in there. Having another of these greenhouses also enables the farm to rotate crops better through them. Our main greenhouse crops are tomatoes, winter greens and now cucurbits.

The spring brings so many changes to Common Ground. If you are interested in witnessing those changes first-hand by volunteering on the farm, let me know. Beginning on April 2, our Saturday volunteer days start up alongside Open Farm Day. We also welcome small volunteer groups. Join Common Ground to take part in the rush of spring. Come quick because it is in a hurry!

Reach Shannon Raider-Ginsburg, Farm Manager, at sraider@commongroundct.org or call 203.389.4333 x.1217