These long, grey January days are just the ticket needed for some rest and restoration after the intense busy season that we have just finished. It is up to us to embrace these days and not to get too distracted wishing for warm, sunny weather. The lovely catalogues with promising pictures of summer gardens are a welcome distraction and help to inspire us to plan for the season ahead. Seeds for the vegetable, herb, and flower crops have been ordered. The calendar is being prepared with the phases of the moon, the signs for each day, and particularly auspicious days for fertilizing, pruning, weeding, transplanting, and direct seeding both above and below ground crops. On each week we will write what we hope to plant that week, weather dependent of course. We have absolutely no control over the weather, but do watch the forecasts and try to plan around it and work with it as best we can. It is time once again to sign up for a CSA share for the 2015 season if you wish. Of course, our produce will also be available at the markets and at our roadside stand if the weekly box does not work for you. Happy winter!
Spring is here … the equinox is this week! I know that many people have been eagerly awaiting the coming of the green along with more fresh produce to eat. Honestly, it is good that there have continued to be cold nights and only a few warm days to hold the blooms back. Otherwise everything gets tricked into blooming too early and then get hit by a late frost or freeze and the crop is lost. It will happen, all in due time.
We finished pruning the blueberry bushes today. Next we have the 3/4 acre of thornless blackberries to prune. It feels good to give the bushes a trim and de-clutter their centers so that sunlight and rain can be accessed by all parts of the bush resulting in plumper, sweeter berries in the months to come. The blueberries are usually ripe from mid June to mid July and the blackberries usually start to ripen around the beginning of August until well into September.
This growing season has begun again with tiny seedlings in the greenhouse to get a jump start on Spring. Although it is cold and snowy outside, the seeds have a warm, moist spot to germinate so that they can grow to be big and strong when the weather warms up and Spring finally comes. The first seeds are always the kales – curly, red Russian, and dino (or toscano or lacinato or black kale). The collard seeds and 4 types of cabbages and 3 types of lettuces were all started the same day in 288 cell trays. Those were all planted at the end of last week and many were starting to germinate by the time we came back on Monday to start more seeds. Swiss chard, parsley, fennel, and 3 types of onions (red, yellow, and white) were all started yesterday. It is an exciting time of the year and one that requires much faith in the power of warmth, good soil, and constant moisture to grow the seeds that will fill the fields in April.
We are also interviewing people to find the right folks to live and work here this season to help us grow food for the community. Not everybody wants to live simply, work hard in all types of weather, and has the skills for manual labor, has a great personality for markets, and wants to be a farmer. For the right folks, spending a full season on a farm, involved in the process of growing a large variety of produce and flowers from seed to sale, is the perfect way to prepare for the life of a farmer in the future.
We have started selling CSA shares, but we still have more to sell. If you are interested, check out the CSA page. If you have questions let us know! We’ll keep you updated as the season progresses.