April 15, 2012
Two weeks back on the farm and a lot accomplished. We freed the garlic and the strawberries from their mulch, allowing them to grow free of wet, heavy, weed-fighting, insulating straw. The raspberry patch and the perennial garden were weeded and covered. The wood chips for the garden were orange and rough, for the raspberries, smelling of Christmas.
In the greenhouse, first round of tomatoes are seeded, most of the peppers and eggplants have been transplanted into bigger containers, and the onions, shallots, and leeks are outside on the cold frame. This coming week we’ll put in the first lettuce. In the field we’ve seeded a couple rounds of radish, spinach, arugula, and other greens, plus peas and fava beans, carrots and beets.
The first beds have been cultivated with wheel hoes. The wood feels solid against my palms as I try to rediscover the rocking and walking that provides a steady groove. I need more time. I changed the 10 inch blade to a much smaller one, to cultivate greens on a new 5 row system. More crop per bed on a product in high demand.
I have the opportunity to manage our restaurant accounts this season and have been delivering them potatoes, the only storage crop left after our winter CSA. Last week I brought them some onion tops, which we haircut from the 600+ seedlings per carry tray to tell the plants to fatten up, so they’ll be easier to transplant in the field. They have a wonderful, mild garlicky flavor, like garlic chives if you’ve had those. Great in Asian dishes or blended into a pesto.
It’s the sad part of the season when you are putting in lots of work, but there is no food to eat. I can’t wait for the juicy bite of spring hakurei turnip, polished on the shirt. For now, surviving on our potatoes and frequenting the winter farmers market at the Armory in Somerville. Enterprise has an amazing setup of local winter greens, plus a cornucopia of vegetables from their relationships with organic farmers along the Eastern seaboard. The baby bellas and the fresh herbs are an amazing treat.
Who is to know about the growing season, with all that lays beyond our control, but I’m certain the farm relationships will be fun-filled, informative, and lasting. The returning crew has already become good friends and we are anxious to meet the new apprentices come May. There is much for a second-year apprentice to learn, as I build my career in farming!
Rain dancing till next time,