Hello there! Who else is overjoyed about the weather we've had recently?
This weekend was absolutely beautiful. My sister came up from Pennsylvania to help me prepare the new permanent beds. I can't believe how much we were able to accomplish. Three days, hundreds of seeds, and countless tan lines later, I am basically caught up with our planting schedule. I can't even express how much of a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.
Produce will be rolling in fast throughout the next month, with the first items available in two or three weeks. The rhubarb is growing like weeds and filling in beautifully since I ripped out the raspberries, wine berries, and grapevines that surrounded it. This will be the first thing at the stand, followed quickly by salad mix, braising mix, bok choi, and radishes. By June we will begin to have other various greens, snap peas, garlic scapes, beets, carrots, kohlrabi, and some early summer squash. It always seems like there are too many greens to eat this time of year, but this is the nature of spring. More filling, substantial veggies are just around the corner!
As far as cut flowers, we still have some daffodils available. A fun fact about our earliest variety (below, left): it was apparently popular around 1890 and was likely originally planted on our property around then. (Shout out to neighbor, fellow farmer, and mentor, Dan, for sharing this with me last week!) We don't know the name, but what we do know is that they are rustic and shaggy in appearance yet boast an incredible cocoa butter-like aroma. They kept in unchanged water for just over a week on our dining table! Our other variety (below, right) has kept equally well in a vase, and they have a more classic appearance. We will still have open willow stems available for another week or two. Next week we will have blue muscari, and the week after that we will begin to have lilac stems available. Who needs Mother's Day bouquets? A daffodil/muscari combination sounds beautiful to me.
The orchard is in lovely shape for the year, with all of our trees bursting with new leaves. We're hopeful that we may see a few of the first fruits this season! Our dear friends Leslie and Ron sent me a Winesap apple tree for my birthday, remembering that it was my favorite that the farmer behind my parents' home grew. That brings our count to eight apple, two pear, three cherry, two hazelnut, two fig, two chestnut, eleven elderberry, twenty blueberry, and three honeyberry. I have always loved the idea of offering fruits and nuts as part of a whole diet, and it seems that we'll be able to achieve that goal over the next few years. I think our final additions will be cornelian cherries and beach plums in 2019.
Long story short, I think the season has finally begun. We look forward to seeing you in the next few weeks!