Spring has arrived. And just in the nick of time. Daffodils, hyacinths, red flowering currant, and Indian plum are all in bloom. I see the salmon berry flowers sprinkling the woods and, of course, the brilliant, strong and powerful dandelion blooms expand across the farm's periphery. The nettles are growing tall and the peonies are reaching up and out of their sleepy winter hibernation. Such a precious time, the springtime. All of a sudden, everything just seems to come alive out of the wet and the muck. And we are too.
The new growth on the berries and the sudden greening of the pasture sparks something in us all and the farm is bustling again. Like our own kind of bee colony we hurry around, accomplishing our individual and group tasks, putting all the pieces in place for our shared mission: an abundant and successful season ahead. Irrigation lines are being set-up, the horses are prepping beds for planting, seeds have been planted out in the fields, and the veggies we are all awaiting are doing their darn best to grow in these wet, cool, and cloudy conditions.
Lucky for me, I have the rewarding responsibility of seeding and tending to our baby transplants in the greenhouse. Because of this, I have been enjoying the wonders of spring for months now despite the wintery weather we've been having. Planting seeds and watching each little seedling emerge and grow is such a pleasure. There is something so invigorating about these new lives.
In the greenhouse, it all starts in February with the onions, shallots, and leeks. Now, in April, our two greenhouses are exploding at the seams with broccolis, lettuces, kales, chards, fennel, and cauliflowers. Today Becky and I sowed winter squash (kabocha, pumpkin, delicata, acorn) enough for a 1/4 acre planting! Yesterday we sowed loads of kale seeds and tomorrow we start some of our lettuce trials. Everyday we get to facilitate the birth and growth of new plants, each one their own little miracle.
During this time of year I am always reminded of why I farm. The growth of the spring plants and the pace of the farm bustle is still slow enough coming out of winter that I can keep pace with my thoughts and be in touch with the simple pleasures that as a farmer I get to surround myself with. It’s a time when I can be amazed that a few small little packets of seeds will fill our fields and, soon after, our farmers market booth, Farmshare boxes, and dinner plates. The pipes which Matt has been piecing together that span the entire farm will be transporting water from the mountain's winter accumulation to hydrate the fields of crops. With Adam's great help, the manure that has been collecting in the barn yard all winter will soon be turned into nutrient rich compost through a series of alchemist traditions and organic regulations to feed all our crops. These are just some of the magical aspects of the farm. This magic never goes away, but, I have to admit, it can sometimes be temporarily forgotten in the swift pace of summer. This time of year is cherished and fleeting, but it is followed up by summer's own set of magical moments- so bring it on!– Anna