Transplanting our first spring crops

We finally have transplanted broccoli, mustards and kale to the field.  We normally transplant these first crops to the field the first of April so the kale and mustards will be ready for our CSA around mid May.  Being Vegetable Market farmer’s, every week from April through October, we are seeding and transplanting trying to have a continuous harvest throughout the season.  It was killing our backs bending over and hand transplanting the thousands of plants into the field, so we invested in a transplanter, which besides our greenhouse, the transplanter was one of our best investments made for the farm.  A few years ago before we had the transplanter it took 5 people 1 week to transplant onions to the field. My sister, nieces and nephew visited us during that time and pitched in to help get the plants out to the field.  This season it took only 3 people 1 and 1/2 days and our backs were not sore afterwards – Hallelujah!
It would take quite a bit for me to explain how our transplanter works but my sister, niece and nephew were visiting while we were transplanting our first succession of Spring crops this year so you must check out the video my nephew did  of his visit to the farm.  It shows transplanting broccoli, mustards and kale.  
 
 

  

Madeline, my niece, took these photographs
showing the transplanter in action!

Trailer of Plants
Trailer full of Broccoli, Red Russian Kale, Nero di Tuscana Kale and Mustards ready to be transplanted to the field.
Lauren and Donna Transplanting
Lauren on the Transplanter with Donna Walking behind assisting.  Lauren is placing plants in the carousel which rotates in a circle dropping plants at a foot apart.
Plants in Hopper
A close view of plants in the carousel.  We are spacing these plants one foot apart.  This transplanter has different cogs that can also space plants as close as 3 inches apart.
Transplanter placing plants in the ground
The transplanter digs a furrow, drops the pant into the furrow, waters the plant in, then packs the roots of the plant with soil.  This process used to take us several steps before we bought the transplanter – we hoed a furrow, hand transplanted, then came behind with a backpack sprayer to water the plants in.

 
 

 

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