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The Joys of Farm Life

25 February

Oh, what a surprise, I didn’t expect them to be that sweet and juicy. During my field walk checking on two-spotted-spider mites in the strawberry patch, I got completely distracted sampling what must be one of the earliest strawberries I have ever had. The plants are still young and putting most of their energy into growing leaves and roots, but some developed an early set of flowers that have turned into surprisingly nice fruit. Under “normal” winter conditions, these early strawberries tend to be misshapen and blemished and are pinched off.  This year, though, they are worth snacking on.

Farmer Tom taste testing the first of the strawberries.

Lots of strawberry blossoms and hidden gems under them.

The farm has sprung alive with the Apricots and Santa Rosa Plums in full bloom. The tractors are busy turning under winter-fields of kale, broccoli and cabbage while preparing new fields for transplanting and sowing of spring crops – English peas, spring onions, spinach, kohlrabi, fennel, potatoes and bok-choi – to name a few.  As we are about to turn the seasonal corner into spring I recognize this familiar feeling of both eager anticipation and intense anxiety. There is a huge amount of work that looms ahead and grows with the lengthening days: field preparations, seeding, cultivating, planting, pruning, harvesting, equipment repairs & maintenance schedules, deliveries… my to-do list is growing, and I worry already how all the tasks will be accomplished in a timely manner.

While the strawberries are off to an early start, the apricots trees are just getting into their full bloom – about two weeks later than last February.

Of course I am always excited about how new ideas, crops, innovations, and experiments will reveal themselves throughout the season, whether it’s the new transplanter, the plantings of new crop varieties, or the pruning and training results in the apple orchard. Ultimately, what truly brings this farm alive is not only the turning of the season but the wonderful community of people – our CSA members, customers, and friends who care about the farm, the land, the animals, and all of us who work here. Thank you for supporting this farm – and now: Just let it rain!

Could it be we’ll have strawberries at the beginning of the Main Season in April? Have you signed up for a share yet?  Don’t miss out!  Sign-up today!