Whatever happened to April “showers” bring May flowers? This is much more than a shower! I am happy that we are not slated to experience the record rain fall that Florida has just seen, but I can’t help but wonder just how much this big rainstorm is going to affect our food system? Timing is everything!
What an odd weather year 2014 has presented thus far. It is such a pleasure to finally see Spring flowers after such a long and snowy Winter. Spring has presented us with seesawing weather patterns however, so many of the ornamental trees that usually bloom sequentially all seem to be blooming at once. Here at the farm, the peach orchard is very pretty right now as it is reach full bloom—about 2 to 3 weeks later than normal.
I thought that I had put my Winter hat and warm work gloves away for good, only to dig them out again for what I hope will be the last time this Spring. Spring has arrived very late this year, with overall temperatures remaining cooler than average. A few warm days accelerated the growth of many plants, only to have the temps plunge to near freezing at night. As a farmer, it is the cold temps that are the worry. The peach crop is particularly vulnerable to cold damage, but so far, I think we are fine—I do not think we sustained any frost injury to the peach blossoms.
The cool wet weather also has put us behind in setting out our vegetable transplants. Seeing that the weather was so slow to warm up this Spring, we (slightly) delayed the sowing of some of our little seedlings. The greenhouse benches are now stuffed full however! Many seedlings are ready for planting and are spending their last few days sitting out on the farm wagon, toughening up a bit before they get planted out to the fields. Others need a few more weeks of warm greenhouse growing before the soil and air temperatures are warm enough for them to make the big move outside.
As I write this it is raining like crazy. I realize it will be days before we will be able to get into the fields again to continue with our planting schedule and I am hoping that recent sowings are not getting washed out.
Farmer Karen’s Winter Update
It is finally melting! I am so weary of the endless hours of snow plowing, snow shoveling and staying up snowy nights to monitor the heaters in the greenhouses to melt the snow off the plastic structures. I have spent too many nights where I’ve strapped on a pair of snow shoes to plod out to the houses to make sure everything is okay. I sure don’t want to wake up some morning to find our greenhouses crushed under the weight of wet heavy snow!
I know everyone is looking forward to seeing the ground again—we are all dreaming of Spring. Paging through seed catalogs has helped keep our spirits up.
Here at the farm we’re deep into planning and prepping for the upcoming growing year. Kate has selected many fun new vegetables and flowers for us to grow and enjoy this year. I must admit I am especially looking forward to the smell of the greenhouse full of plants, sunshine and warmth!
See you soon!
With 37 acres of land, there is quite a bit of room for visitors…mostly in the form of deer, fox, hawks, geese and the occasional blue heron. This is something you don’t see every day though. When Sonny, our jack of all trades, went down to prepare one of the far fields for planting, this is what he came across: a snapping turtle laying her eggs.
Delicious, tender pea tendrils!
Sorry to have gone dormant and not updated the blog for such a long period of time. We have been crazy busy with millions (or so it seems) of farm activities. A farmer’s day can easily be 12 to 14 hours at this time of year. Somehow, I find that this schedule does not lend itself to creative blogging. Remember that phrase “Make hay when the sun shines?” Well, it is never more appropriate than Spring…we have taken advantage of every single sunny day, only instead of “making hay,” we are growing produce. When you’re a farmer, Spring is all out time for farming!
The weather so far this year has been a roller coaster ride. It was certainly slow to warm up, and as a result we delayed some plantings. Which is a good thing since we experienced a heavy frost the second week of May. The frost was then closely followed by four days in the 90’s. This kind of weather is challenging for people who aren’t used it as well as for all of our newly planted seedlings. We had some plants nipped by the frost, but no major losses. We also had to replant a bunch of tomatoes that didn’t like the 90 degree windy days (thank goodness for extra plants in reserve!). Everything is growing very rapidly now, and it is very rewarding to look out over the fields and see the fruits of our labor!
We have the first week of CSA under our belt and as a result, are slowly shifting our energies from spending our time planting and tending, to harvesting and waiting on members and customers.
It is wonderful to see so many new members this year, as well as the many returning members after the long winter’s hiatus. A community has truly formed around this farm property! Good food and good people—what could be better!