EECO Farm – APRIL 2021 Newsletter for Gardeners
"The April rain, the April rain,
Comes slanting down in fitful showers,
Then from the furrow shoots the grain,
And banks are fledged with nestling flowers;”
“April Rain” – Mathilde Blind (1841-1896)
It feels damp out and is often cloudy or raining. Daily temperatures fluctuate between the mid-40’s to the high 50’s but occasionally dip into the 30’s at night --- threatening frost --- but then shoot back up into the 60’s! This can only mean one thing --- it must be springtime in the Hamptons!
After suffering through a year-long pandemic of historic proportions and getting a vaccine it seems as though we have finally turned a corner and we might be able to get back to some semblance of order. There are few things that can make someone feel “back-to-normal” quicker than gardening and that is what EECO Farm is all about. Whether you are growing various fruits and vegetables to eat organic or --- like about 25% of your fellow horticulturalists here, you just grow flowers --- it is all about working in the soil while enjoying the bright sun and fresh air.
Once again, we are happy to report that every one of our 120 individual patches have been rented for the season and EECO Farm is raring to go. The main water pump has been activated, some leaks have been repaired, the compost pile has been refreshed and all that is missing here now is you. Feel free to start working in your garden at any time. Say hello to your new next door neighbor as we have a few newbies.
At the risk of stating the obvious to our more advanced gardeners, the following advice is worth repeating here again because some readers are first-timers at EECO Farm: Do not go crazy!
All too often we have seen our beginners start with everything they have seen in those glitzy seed catalogues. Be selective and pay close attention to your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone. EECO Farm is in Climate Zone 7a --- although some old timers still claim we are in 6b --- which simply means we can experience a low average, coldest temperature of 0 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit in winter.
Yes --- you can create a “micro climate” at EECO Farm and boost that zone rating up by using cloches, opaque cheese-cloth covers, aluminum reflectors and the like but these tactics are really for the more advanced amateur farmer rather than the beginner.
If you are just starting out, it is best to keep it simple. In fact, we recommend using green house transplants that have been properly hardened off as that will allow you to play catch-up to starting with seeds in-ground. Buying from local nurseries will almost guarantee the plant is Long Island ready.
If anyone has questions, you’ll find many of your gardening neighbors are Master Gardeners and you can always shoot EECO Farm an email and someone will get back to you. The most important aspect is that you enjoy yourselves!
Don’t forget Arbor Day, the last Friday of the month, is April 30th for a reason. It commemorates the historical date marked for those wishing to plant trees and perennials and that is when they were encouraged to start that effort. Unfortunately, trees and large bushes are not permitted in your garden but please do put one in at home or around your neighborhood. Also, keep in mind that April 22nd is Earth Day --- so remember to always use only organic material at EECO Farm.
Lastly, we have some sad news. Our large oblong picnic table that easily could sit 10 has been stolen over the winter! We looked everywhere so that is our forced conclusion. NOTE: If anyone has a similar table --- in good condition, please --- and would like to donate it to us then contact EECO Farm and we will make arrangements to pick it up.