Well, another winter has (mostly) passed, and even though it's only about 15º as I write this, we know that spring is coming. There is birdsong in the morning, our neighbors have been sugaring, and the greenhouses are turning green. This year we're undertaking a new spring adventure: plant sales! Starting at the first outdoor farmers' market on May 4, we'll be selling seedlings for home gardens. We'll only bring plants that are healthy, hardened off, and ready to plant. This means that early in May we'll have cold-hardy seedlings (like lettuce and greens), and then the more tender plants (like tomatoes) at the end of the month when the risk of frost has passed. Overall, we will include our favorite varieties of lettuce, onions, summer and winter squash,
cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, and heirloom tomatoes. Then, on Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, we'll have a big on-farm plant sale!
Come by the farm and pick out all the seedlings you need, and get a tour of our operation, too.
Spring also means CSA sign-up time! In addition to the traditional on-farm CSA pick-up, we're also offering CSA delivery
to homes and workplaces this year. There's no delivery fee if five or more shares are delivered to the same location, so if you're interested, team up with some friends or co-workers and let us know!
By popular demand, all of this year's CSA newsletter recipes are now on our recipe
Yup, they're here! CSA got the first tomatoes on Tuesday, and we're bringing several flats to market tomorrow. We've got both red and golden slicers - try them both and see which you like best. The heirlooms and cherry tomatoes are on their way, and should be ready in the next week or two.
We'll also have eggplants - both the big purple ones and the little green Thai ones - and cucumbers, as well as lettuce, kale, green beans, peas, and more! The weather looks perfect for tomorrow, so we hope to see you there.
The first "summer" farmers' market is tomorrow - from now on, they'll be weekly, outside at the Marble Works. We'll be in the same spot as we were last year, and we plan to be there every week, so come say hello. We've got radishes this week - and our three successions all matured at once, so it looks like it'll be this week only! They're really tasty, nice and mild. We'll also have pea shoots and spinach again, and if you haven't tried this spinach, you're missing out. I think it's the best we've grown, really nutty and just good
tasting. It feels like the perfect thing for spring. And we took Sonora on her first big hike this week to gather ramps, the amazing and delicious wild onion that only appears for a few weeks each spring. They are a real treat, good everywhere that you'd usually put onions or garlic. We especially like to use them in scrambled eggs, added to hamburgers, and in pasta
. Come get some while they last!
That's ginger being planted down the middle of the solar heated bed
, with seedlings on either side. We're pretty exited about that.(Yes, the CSA will get ginger.
Yes, you can still sign up.)And thanks to everyone who stopped by the market to visit and meet Sonora today - it was great to see you all! The farmers' market moves outside starting May 7, so if you didn't get a chance to come down today,
stop by then for some spinach, pea shoots, and maybe radishes and more.
Wow, it's hard to find the time to blog!
Things are going well on the farm. The Japanese beetles have made their first appearance, right in sync with the black raspberries ripening. (Our black raspberry bush is very small and provides us with one tiny handful of raspberries every few days during the season... but it's a delicious tiny handful!) Pests haven't been that bad this year, so far (knock on wood) but it's early yet.
The magic December-planted carrots from the greenhouse are all done now, and the greenhouse is firmly in the grip of summer plants: eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes which are growing several inches a day. The cherry tomato plants are taller than I am! We've got a few just starting to turn color, so hopefully the rest will follow suit and soon we'll have tomatoes for the CSA and market.
We're starting to plan for this winter now, making sure we've got all the fall crops planted and figuring out what will go in the greenhouse when the tomatoes are done. We're planning to build a second greenhouse this fall, so we have to figure out the timing of that and what to plant when to fill it up. There's garlic now where that greenhouse is going, but that will be coming out fairly soon. Probably we'll plant some late brassicas and spinach there, then build the greenhouse over it, like we did with the first greenhouse last year. Maybe we'll plant more winter carrots! With two greenhouses, we should have the same problem of needing to plant the summer crops in before the winter crops are finished. Eventually, we'd love to have movable greenhouses... but that's for the future. Right now, we need to decide how much rutabaga seed to order!
Whew! Things are busy! We just finished the third farmers' market of the year, and this coming weekend is the start of our CSA! We've been tilling and seeding and transplanting away in our field in Salisbury, and we've opened up a new field in Middlebury, as well.
The land in Salisbury is pretty heavy clay, and it's been challenging to work with. We've spent a lot of time and sweat in the past few weeks moving about 20 yards of compost from piles along the edge of the field, into the pickup or wheelbarrows, and out onto the beds. This has improved the soil structure quite a lot, but it gets really cloddy if we work in it if it's even a little bit too wet. There's a smaller patch of land that we're using there as well, which had been a garden for a long time, and it's much more manageable. That's where all the potatoes are.
We've been proceeding slowly in the big field, preparing just what we need and waiting for the right conditions. But we've got cukes, zukes, winter squash and field tomatoes that are busting out of their soil blocks and they need a home now. So we got back in touch with a school in town that has some open land, who we'd talked with last year when we first started looking for a field to use. They were still excited to have us, so we mowed and had it plowed over the weekend. Jeremy has been out there all day today making beds, and I think we're going to plant tomorrow! Things sure move fast sometimes!
So that's the news from the farm. If you've been thinking about signing up for a CSA share, now's the time! If you're already a member, we can't wait to give you your first veggies!