Good evening, Farm Friends, Look closely at the photo and you'll see them. Yes, that's right! The first seeds we've sown of the season have popped. The heaters are on in the grow room, and these tender little cotyledons that emerged from the darkness of potting soil are eagerly growing, readying themselves to be transferred out to our hoophouses in just a matter of weeks. The momentum continues to build, and the records that were kept last season along with a little help from the Johnny's seeding calculator and other transplanting guides will serve as our references as we continue to seed through mid March. Tomorrow I will seed our onions, leeks, and shallots, and the waiting will begin until these fragrant members of the allium family will emerge, looking like a folded blade of grass breaking through the soil's surface. So exciting! If ever I had any doubt as to the mystery and magnificence of this universe, I am quickly reminded of the power of Mother Nature when I witness the spectacle of a tiny, sometimes minuscule sized seed, giving birth to new life from a seemingly inert mass of soil. Farming on ~1.25 acres we are continually trying to make our operation more efficient and productive. We use this time of year to read, You-Tube other small farms across the country, complete projects, and improve upon what didn't work especially well for us in seasons past. We are in the final stages of planning what will go into the ground and where. What crops will we be growing more of this year and what will be eliminated? For instance, celeriac takes ~90 days in the ground to mature, but we could grow two, maybe three, plantings of greens in this time with the same amount of space. Decisions, decisions... With the milder temperatures, Cale has been converting a pull-behind trailer into a walk-in cooler. With the help of a handy little gizmo known as a CoolBot that attaches to a window unit AC, small farms are able to have walk-ins with a fraction of the investment. Once the ground is thawed, we will begin on our new wash station build out. Never a dull moment to be had around here.
And, finally, I would love to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their incredible showing of support this winter. Cale and I have been blown away! Every Saturday morning at pick-up this incredible communal "thing" happens at our farm stand. Friends run into old friends, new acquaintances are made, stories are shared, recipes are exchanged and community unfolds without even realizing it over the swapping of swiss chard, spaghetti squash, cornmeal, or whatever it may be for cash. One thing is for certain - we and our farm are certainly all the better for having these meaningful interactions with you at this roadside gathering spot. Our cup runneth over. For this week, we have VERY limited salad greens, some gorgeous spinach, brilliantly colored bright lights swiss chard, the last of a bed of tatsoi while we wait for the next ones to finish maturing, and very tender, lovely pea and buckwheat shoots. The baby carrots have been so sweet and amazing raw in salads, and the beets right now are coming from the hoophouse and have beautiful "saute-able" greens attached. We have the last of our cornmeal remaining until this fall, and we have delicious sun-dried tomatoes and dried Hatch-style chilies that I just love making red chili sauce from available as well. During the persephone period, not much really grows. The hoophouses more or less act as large refrigerators, storing everything in the ground for us. Now that growth has begun on the plants again, we will be waiting until our new beds of greens come in, so pickins' on greens might be a bit slim, depending on weather, over the next couple of weeks. But the good news is that there are plenty more salad greens, spicy greens, tatsoi, and head lettuces on their way! And, with this, we urge you to keep the snow dances coming and enjoy your week ahead! Thank you for your support of our farm and local, organic agriculture. It is our privilege and honor to grow food for you. In gratitude, Melissa & Cale