March 28, 2017
What is in the VEGGIE BOX: Chard, Cabbage, Carrots, Spinach, Beets, Onions and ASPARAGUS!!
This Week on the Farm
“Holy Cow there is a lot to do!” Our 2017 mantra, that is very real for a farmer actually any year, in all seasons, but spring, well it is 100 fold feeling this time of year. Waiting, we are just waiting to jump-or SPRING into action as soon as the soil dries out enough to do ground work and get to planting. Just before this last rain Jeff was able do some mowing in the orchard to reduce the humidly and brown rot conditions and also in two of the veggie fields and thus began the first steps to getting our fields prepared for planting. He added the first application of compost and then hopped on the big D4 Caterpillar tractor and opened up the ground by discing. Usually we would then move in the sprinkler pipes and irrigate the composted fields to settle the soil so it is relatively firm and to kick start the bacterial life awake and to get a better soil tilth at the surface. Well with the last week’s incoming rain, we didn’t need to irrigate. Now we are chomping at the bit (hold on to those internal wild horses from getting too anxious) to applying the second application of compost with the compost spreader then do a last light discing. The final action is to use the smaller Ford Cultivating tractor to make 6 foot beds that we will then transplant the late spring and summer seedling from the green house into these bran spanking beautiful new beds. But all of that depends on the soil moisture-when we farmed in Woodland it was called the 20 minutes soil- you had 20 minutes from when it was too wet, to when it was too hard to do your ground work-that’s Yolo County Clay! I am the one at the breakfast table in the morning asking is the soil ready now? Can we plant now? Can I rototill the beds for the first of my flowers…now? Jeff has the calming patience, “no not yet, but with this breeze it will be soon.” I’m soooo ready to get planting seed of Zinnias, cosmos, and sunflowers to get the first summer flowers going….now!!!
So the Wisteria is in full bloom on the barn arbor, with its sweet smells, the other incredible smells are coming from the flowering crabapple just outside the kitchen window and with today’s winds the blossoms will be falling like flakes of snow to cover the ground below. The fruit trees have passed bloom, and we are slowly seeing what has come of the winter rain with the fruit crops. It looks like a light apricot year, they will be big, but not tons. They have a small amount of brown rot due to the rain, but with a several sprayings of copper just before the rains there is not much die back on the young branches. The peaches, nectarines and plums just finished getting a good pruning for the year. They are starting to leaf out and so far it looks like a pretty good crop. It also looks like we are going to have some of our first mulberries from trees planted a few years ago-that is very exciting-hopefully the birds won’t be hungry when they are ripe. We had a great tangelo, lemon and grapefruit season-even the Pommelos had a bumper crop with 50 or so huge gigantic fruit. But our late orange variety got brown rot from all the wet weather-the brown rot spores are in the soil and with the rain moisture and in excessive humid conditions it moves up into the trees by splashing water from soil to leaves, causing fruit rotting and the leaves die. We were able to harvest from the top portions of the tree about 1/3 of the crop. We are feeding them with compost early this year so they can have the nutrition they need to get back to healthier trees. They are just starting to bloom and will most likely be blooming for the Open Farm day in a few weeks. The citrus bloom is one of the most heavenly smells on the farm. And everything is green-ah spring green makes you see fairies in the garden, dancing spirits smiling in the trees. The time of future possibilities, fast moving spring time, things are changing every second-flowers are starting to bloom-ranunculus, anemones, snapdragons, iris and we all are certainly waking up from our long winters nap. Get your snoozing done, as the long days are coming, along with this year’s summer harvest.
Have a great week-Annie Main