Soil Temps Are A Risin’…

{Dazzling Blue kale approaching bloom with purple highlights and bright inviting yellow flowers.}

…And thank goodness.   Talk about an itch to get outside.  Kass and I do everything we can to delay Jasper’s outside desire, but its hard to stop him from clawing at the door this Spring; no shoes, no hat, barely has pants!    The snow did quite a number on him, but we persevered and are discovering Spring in a whole new way as we whiplash forward.  Everything from the two foot viewpoint is so much more exciting!  His eagerness to get the Spring started certainly inspired us.

{Jasper tending to the water needs of freshly re-planted onions for seedmaking.}

When the snowed melted and dried, our fields quickly lit up with lines of tillage and plastic IVs for the plants.  We sailed in all the patient kale, kohlrabi and chard trying to cheer them up.  Beets and radish for seedmaking, waiting for almost six months, got some respite from the cooler, eager to regrow!   Our new veggie field is bearing all its secrets now too as everything races to catch up with the lengthening daylight.   Amongst dense stands of desirable clover areas of quackgrass glisten , zones of  shepard’s purse quickly wrap up flowering(!), and luckily hardly any thistle stirs.  Our old field is quickly growing over with chickweed, bunchgrass and other assorted filler plants as we prepare for cover cropping it and withdrawing it from production for a few years.  Jasper already has a knack for identifying the chickweed and shoving it into his little basket, showing hopes for his wild harvesting skills.

{Plastic drip tape and soil are helping welcome our Gold Beets back to life.}

Spring is our usually a farm hustle to wake(clean) the farm from its winter sleep and sink as many vegetable plants into the ground as possible.   This year though we decided to do some extra Spring things like mulching herbs and adding more fruit to the farm with plum and apple trees from Elderflower Orchard.   Excellent cultivars on astute grafts made the new trees look strong and ready for their place in the orchard.   Immediately after planting their little buds began to unfurl.  If you haven’t visited the orchard here, this is a good time to come out!  Our Serviceberries and honeyberrries are about to wrap up their blooms and apples and cherries are just beginning.   Jasper can’t help but look at the flowers and realize how close the fruit is.   We’re thankful it’s lookin like a frost-free flowering this year.  :):)

Our mulching efforts followed astute weeding  from last year with the hopes the mulch will squash new weeds and allow our herbs and flowers to penetrate through.  Already Valerian, Echinacea and Earthpea have burrowed their way up to find the sun with only a handful of biennial weeds here and there, easy weeding thus far.   When you pick up shares this year at the farm, you’ll certainly be greeted by thriving blooming herbs!   Comfrey too, is finding its way around the farm as we plant it around trees for their added “mulching” effect when they grow profusely and drop their leaves.  But you must keep a close eye out, as Jasper has a strong curiosity for the delicate plants, yanking them to see them up close!

Another Spring side  project includes the seedwork.  Always experimenting and trying new techniques, Kass and I planted many varieties in the Hoophouse, in the field and at our friend’s fields this year!   Jasper’s continues his “observing” trying to refuse the temptation to grab precious plants just waking up.   Our hoophouse kale is the first to make flowers for the bees with carrots not far behind.  We’re looking foward to an excellent crop!

{Champion Collards in the back with Mayan Jaguar romaine lettuce in front, enjoying their mild hoophouse culture.}

 

Its so great to see everything popping!  We can’t wait to share!  Stop by upcoming markets in Whitewater and Fort Atkinson to catch.  We’ll have lovelies from the hoophouse and outdoors.

Much love,

Clint