Greetings from the farm! Birds are returning from the south, butterflies are emerging from their cocoons, baby bunnies and groundhogs are nibbling on clover and there are more buds on the trees every day. It feels like the earth is slowly waking up after winter. And I mean s-l-o-w-l-y. The evening temperatures are still pretty low and the highs during the day haven’t been much better (let’s remember it just snowed on the 18th).
We seeded carrots and peas at the beginning of the month and they have just recently germinated, a little behind schedule. Most vegetable plants thrive when the soil temperature is about 70 degrees. This is the optimal temperature to stimulate root growth and the uptake of nutrients. Of course, there are exceptions as some plants don’t mind cooler temperatures. That’s why we begin the season by planting things like cabbage, onions, lettuce, escarole, bok choy and kale.
As I look ahead to the forecast, I remind myself to be patient. Before long, the temperatures will go up and the warmer weather will encourage significant plant growth. And before I know it, there will be flowers to pick, weeds to kill and delicious tomatoes to eat. Patience is something we all need these days. During a time when we are under so much pressure to stay safe – while trying to help our neighbors and local businesses, when our day-to-day schedules have been turned upside down and the future feels uncertain – it’s important to remember that we only have control over certain things.
So we focus on the tasks we do have control over. Kerry and I are preparing the last of the plants for next month’s seedling sale. We are installing an electric fence around the farm to deter deer from walking through our fields and laying landscape fabric down in the flower garden to help suppress weeds. We will continue planting in the fields and begin to cultivate as often as we can to stay on top of the weeds. Plenty to keep us busy!
Until next time,