A Note from Layton at Quail Hill Farm | Start of the Season

April 9, 2022

By Layton Guenther

Farms for the Future
Quail Hill Farm

Of the many gifts afforded to farmers who cultivate crops by large bodies of water, mild winters ranks high up on the list. Oceanic climates like ours are steady, immune to the sharper, more unpredictable temperature rises and plunges seen further inland. The sea is also a great temperature sink, tethering our terrestrial temperatures to that of the great ocean just beyond our farm fields.

Many of the vegetable crops that we grow are classified as “biennials,” meaning they flower and set seed after a full growing season and winter. By nature, biennials thrive in our cool maritime climate, and soon will begin “bolting,” or sending out shoots to prepare for flowering and setting seed. One such biennial is the humble collard green, along with its cousins kale, brussels sprouts and cabbage. In April and early May we harvest “collard raab,” the snappy and sweet stems of this plant going to flower at long last. 

It’s been an exciting past few weeks at Quail Hill! Those we’ve welcomed to our farm ranks include:

  • 50 day-old baby chicks to join our intrepid flock of hens.
  • Our new Spader, which is a tillage implement that will help us maintain healthy soil structure and reduce our tractor passes, which mediates soil compaction and reduces our fuel consumption.
  • Most importantly: our 2022 cohort of apprentices! 

In eight short weeks (fingers crossed!) we’ll be opening the rows on Birch Hill for our thirty-third year of community farming on Deep Lane here in Amagansett. This year we’re thrilled to grow over four hundred varieties of vegetables, herbs and cut flowers for our farm members.

As the silt loam soils dry down from this recent rain, our 2022 Quail Hill Farm crew will be planting out all of the favorite spring crops: piquant spring onions, sweet sugar snap peas, crunchy radishes, statuesque lettuces and more.

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