There are only a few of these Saturday mornings left: the unstructured days when, if I wake before dawn to the deep rumbling purr of our 15-year old farm cat in my face, I can sleepily burrow him under the covers for a little more snoozing. Just two weeks from today, that warm spot on the bed will be all his well before 6 am, as we gather and load for market. It's a little crazy to know exactly what our plan is for every single Saturday from April 21 through the end of October. But it's true, whether we believe it or not, that the first early farmers markets and our spring memberships will be starting in just two short weeks.
Of course, un-structured doesn't mean empty. I was soon enough out of bed and pondering how to juggle today's list crowded with unfinished tasks from earlier in the week. This time of year field tasks, greenhouse work, and building all jostle each other for the top slots on a list that grows even faster than the weeds. But we are excited to be out, feeling that sun and seeing some green growth, so we're each digging in to the list with some big hopes for the day.
The baby greens in the high tunnels are starting to take off, with arugula so far appearing to win the good spring effort award. I have the urge to give them little pep talks about the markets coming up so soon, but I'll settle for getting them a good weeding, and beginning the ritual of daily on-and-off with the row cover, to keep them warm at night but maximize their light during the day.
A part of spring, too, is the crazy calculus of how much we need to get started in our season. In these weeks before any markets or sales to our wholesale accounts, we rely on the membership signups as our only income stream. Looking over some of our orders this week, we could see so clearly what members do: 1.5 members covered the upgrades to drip irrigation that will save us hours per week and yield healthier tomato plants in our tunnels; another one member covers the biodegradable weed mat we are going to try for tomatoes and peppers. 2 more cover the huge roll of white row cover for keeping the insect pests off of the baby greens we'll soon plant to the field...the list goes on. Thank you so much to all of you who have signed up already, and to those who have helped with donations to our eatership fund.
And the time to get your sign-ups in is growing tight! With the first pick-ups just two weeks out, we are closing sign-ups for the spring term on Monday. If you want to fill a feedbag April-early June, please sign up this weekend! Summer memberships will remain open, and we encourage you to reserve those soon as well. We are exctied to bring some member benefits beyond the weekly bag of veggies this year, so stay tuned for news of the first FARM-ily dinner potluck and farm tours, tentatively set for the first Tuesday or first Sunday of May.
On the table: mighty microgreens
Early spring is the time of exciting abundance of seedlings and starts, but also the "hungry time" in terms of actual produce. It's a funny paradox, to be in the starting and growth and busy-ness stage of the farm, to be doing so much farming but not yet to have the piles of vegetables to eat. We've finished out even most of our kale and salsas from the freezer. The greens in the high tunnel are growing, albeit slowly, through the cool temperatures and the dark of snow and rain. We think they'll be ready for those April markets, but we've also been experimenting with micro-greens, a very fast seed-to-harvest crop, to quell our impatience, and be sure to have some fresh green crunch to offer farm members. Radish micgrogreens are now being stocked in the farmstore weekly, as we start to get the timing figured out with weekly plantings and harvests. If you haven't used the micros yet, now's a great time to give them a try. Sprinkle them as a garnish on top of eggs, soups, or salads; use them in place of sad store-bought lettuce in a sandwich, or make a micro-salad, with just a small handfull of the greens, a splash of oil and vinegar, and maybe a sprinkle of nuts goat cheese, or a ferment. We loved a dash of our local fermenter, House of Ferments' "Little Polish Girl" red sauerkraut on top of ours.
RSVP for yurt-warming party next Saturday.
Have you wondered what our biggest winter project is looking like, or what the heck a yurt actually is? Next Saturday, our final weekend before the markets, we will be having a yurt-warming gathering to thank supporters and those who helped us get a cozy home on the farm, through last year's kickstarter campaign. An invite will go out to all kickstarter donors, but if you have helped in any way in our process, and aren't sure you'll get the messages from kickstarter, please click here to RSVP so we can make sure you are included, and know how many to expect.
Wishing you all the spring sunshine and green,
Mary & Noah