June 1

  Today is the most spring-like day in a month as we experience more rain and cold than since the end of April.  Walking down the dry dusty rows in the field under a hot sun for days on end gave me flashbacks to summer in Southern California.  Thankfully the irrigation system went together fairly smoothly, and the plants responded to all the sun and irrigation by growing in earnest.  And all the nice days gave me plenty of opportunity to work on prepping the field (which is close but still not 100% ready).
  June 1 also means that market season is underway.  I do love selling at markets but it means I lose three days of field work (Friday harvest, Saturday market and more harvesting, Sunday market) at a time when seven days wasn't even enough to get everything done.

May First

  May first seems like a turning point this year.  Spring is fully arrived, judging by the blooming of the cherry tree in the backyard and the loud buzzing of thousands of bees at work on the flowers.  The bright green grass, striking yellow forsythia, and the light pink cherry blossoms makes quite an image compared to the stark white landscape of just a few weeks ago.  Things are in full swing here at Apis Verdi: the greenhouse and cold frame are filled to capacity (and then some), peas are coming up quickly in the garden, and full on bed prep has begun at the new piece of land I will be farming this year.  It's been a big job clearing all the rocks, weeds, and even some old farm equipment but the soil is gorgeous and the beds are shaping up nicely.



finished beds.JPG

All the extra bed prep work needed this season is eating up a lot of time, and even with the days getting longer and longer I still find myself putting tools away in the dark.  With less than a month until the first farmers' markets it's hard to believe everything will get done before the madness of harvesting and selling and summer weeding sets in, but those are worries for June First.

Time to get back at it!

Spring Is Coming

  What seemed impossible even two weeks ago is suddenly a reality- all the snow is melting.  Fast.  It's a bit surreal watching more than a foot of snow disappear in a couple days.  Bare ground and warm sunshine = dreams of digging in the soil once again and getting one step closer to heaps of delicious fresh produce.

  Meanwhile the leeks and artichokes planted in February are growing strong and several more trays have been added to the grow room- fennel, parsley, celery, celeriac.  The artichokes are an experiment this year, and even if the economic return isn't worth growing them as a commercial crop who doesn't at least want some artichokes for their own table?  I grew accustomed to having them while living in California- they can literally grow wild there.  My first taste of fresh artichoke actually took place in Connecticut, straight from the garden of my friend's father, and was one of those revolutionary food moments only something that fresh can inspire.  So, in homage to that first experience, and to my time in CA, 2015 will hopefully be the Year of the Artichoke at Apis Verdi.

  Having seeds sprouted and seedlings to take care of is a great way to begin shaking off the fog of winter that descends when there is little to do and the hope of Spring is such a long way off.  As important as a period of rest is to a farmer (a title I still feel uncomfortable using, especially after such a long stretch of idleness) in order to recharge the body, it can be taxing on the spirit and the mind.  Reading new books and planning for next season helps, but only full on Spring and the rush of a new season can truly heal a winter weary spirit.

  So for now I'll sit tight and finish using what's left of last years harvest (garlic, onions, canned tomatoes) to whip up warm meals and chase the winter blues away.