Back when I was a hobby gardener, winter was a time I dreamed about gardening. I’d pour over seed catalogs and think about which handful of new varieties I might try out, then round about March I’d start prepping beds and await patiently for our last frost date to roll around before putting any baby plants in the ground. But not now, friends! Winter has been full of work, learning and growing. I’m still very much in the phase of building the farm, with a lot of focus this winter on setting up systems and infrastructure to make growing, harvesting, washing, packing and storing the bounty and all the supplies I need so things run smoothly.
I’ve also been learning the ups and downs of growing straight through the winter–production hasn’t stopped all winter, a pretty impressive feat with only one unheated high tunnel. When we had a big snow in January that dumped about 10 inches here on the farm, I was out at down and every hour on the hour sweeping snow off the frost blanket covering kohlrabi, lettuces, spinach, celery, beets, scallions and leeks to keep them from collapsing and killing my early spring harvests. Not great on my back, I’ll tell ya, but it kept the plants alive!
And now, little teeny weeny starts I’ve been nurturing all winter are going in the ground. Flowers like snap dragons, larkspur, old fashioned carnations and anemones that were planted in the high tunnel in October are covered in buds and will be blooming in just a few short weeks! I can’t wait to pull the first of this year’s French breakfast radishes and taste that crunchy goodness. I’m learning how to naturally control pests in the greenhouse (a great safe haven for little beasties, apparently!) that were going after tender baby pak choi and napa cabbage.
Many other big projects are under way to expand my growing space, build nourishing living soil, and most excitingly the start of my Spring-Summer CSA coming up on April 1, weeks before most CSA’s start. I’m so grateful to my returning and new customers who are supporting this farm journey, and we still have a few more spots in our 17 week main season CSA, sign up at http://www.thefiddlesticksfarm.com.