Spring Farmer Field Notes

Although it’s no easy contest, spring may win as the busiest season here at the farm. It certainly feels the most dynamic and multifaceted. Not only is there a lot to do, there is a lot of different kinds of work and preparations that must be done for the upcoming season. Add to the matrix the variables of weather and mechanized equipment, and you’re off to an exciting marathon start for the season!

This spring has also been a time when I have been very happy, relieved, and grateful to be able to rely on the help of so many dedicated farm interns, volunteers and community members, without whom, the farm simply would not run. I have been fortunate to have assistance from a solid group of interns this spring—thank you Sara, Cassidy, Nicole, and Chris! Their efforts have helped transition the farm from winter planning, weeding, and seeding, to spring field production. I only hope they will be able to visit the farm this summer to see the fruits of their labor more fully realized!

In rough sequence, spring on the farm is something like this:

  • Seed flats for plant sale. Seed flats for farm production. Pot up seedlings for plant sale. Seed more flats for plant sale. Seed more flats for farm production. (A big thank you to stalwart seeding volunteers Genie, Kate, and Renate!)
  • Mow cover crop on drier lower fields. Pot up more seedlings for plant sale. Incorporate mowed cover crop into lower fields. (Thank you Farmer Jim for assistance with your tractor and spader!)
  • Seed more flats for plant sale. Seed more flats for farm production. Pot up seedlings for farm production. Mow cover crop on wetter upper fields. Incorporate mowed cover crop into fields. (Thank you Tomio for technical consult and assistance!)

[While all this is happening, the grasses and  weeds are responding to the rains and reaching for the skies. Heroic mowing efforts of Shellie, Steve, and Paul had the farm looking tidy and kempt for its big public springtime coming-out event of the plant sale!]

  • Update Certified Producers’ Certificate line by line with every new crop variety grown at the Bounty Farm for the upcoming year. Submit.
  • Tend to tractor needs. Fret over leaking hydraulic lines. Call tireless farm volunteer tractor mechanic Terry. Buy Terry donuts.
  • Spread compost. Shape beds. Lay drip line. Plant potatoes. Transplant the seedlings in the greenhouse that have been in there just a bit too long. (But they’ve been getting little hits of kelp and fish emulsion, and are hanging in there okay!)
  • Swim in sweet and delicious abundant strawberry crop. Mentally thank the countless, tireless volunteers who spent  many Saturday mornings on their hands and knees, pulling weeds in the strawberry beds. Harvest, peddle, and sell strawberries.

The farmers’ market is starting!  Harvest the very first of the greens and radishes. Hope to get timing of peas down for next year. Hope customers understand our slow start.

Welcome to spring. I’m off to meet the tractor mechanic and transplant some salad greens. See you soon on the farm or at the farmers’ market!

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