This season feels like we're getting off to a solid early start. The garlic crop looks great, more than a foot tall and virtually weed free since we weeded in January. The dry weather has allowed us to work up the fields for the spring vegetables, while we leave cover crops to continue growing on the summer vegetable ground. The first planting of peas is about an inch high, while the second planting is just poking shoots through the surface. We've planted some short rows of Walla Walla onions, and seeded two long rows of the sweet Mokum carrots. We've never got carrots in this early before. Carrots need well worked soil, and it is usually too wet to do that this early. The catalog suggests around April 1, so we fudged it a little.
Another reason for the early start is the inspiration that having another farmer on the property has provided. Jim has always envied how early Brenda Millar of Rosemattel CSA gets crops harvested, and this year we get to watch it happen. Brenda's passion seems to really be for growing things, so she is chomping at the bit the minute the sun peeks out. She already has all the ground we've allotted her tilled up with her little "pony" tiller, and is looking for spaces to interplant between the rows of existing crops. Brenda is a much more savvy composter than we are, and uses the compost as a mulch to retain water, reduce compaction and feed her plants (which explains the lovely tilth in her garden beds). Jim has never been much of a mulcher and tills organic matter into the soil, prior to planting. It will be interesting to watch our two systems side by side.
It is of course the time of anxiously waiting for new members to sign up. We're approaching half full with two months to go.
So that's the news from the farm. We'll keep you posted.
Diane & Jim Hunter, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hunters' Greens CSA, http://huntersgreens.com
Brush Prairie, WA. (360) 256-3788