Time does tend to get away from me in the spring with so many things needing immediate attention and a to-do list a mile long. From preparing beds to starting seeds, transplanting, cultivating, irrigating, harvesting and going to market, there is not much time left over for taking a step back and sharing the amazing transformation that happens here in spring.
When things go from bare trees, row cover, tiny transplants, and cold ground…
to hot and humid with exploding green everywhere.
From our overwintered cover crop gaining its first spring growth…
to head high and headed out, towering over the peonies.
And finally getting mowed down, and soon turned into the soil that will become the food for our fall vegetables.
From flame-weeded carrot beds…
To bountiful carrot harvests.
And full market tables.
We are passing out of spring greens season and into summer fruits.
So many peas to pick, and tomatoes to trellis.
Beds to cultivate and plant.
Potatoes to hill and dig. And sunflowers that bloom the day after a market.
Finally our fields are full of so many things coming and going.
And our forest is growing food as well.
The tomato vines are loaded up and we are ready for these gorgeous green orbs to color up.
Pretty borage blossoms bring in the bees.
A black snake has found his dinner.
And the one that got away, who might be looking for a bite to eat himself.
Lot of moving pieces. We are usually asked at market at least a few times a day, do you spray? What do you do for pests? The answer is, nothing and everything. We do not spray anything on our crops to kill pests. However, everything we do is an important component in the ecosystem of our farm that leads to pest management without the use of chemicals. From taking fields out of production for a season and improving the soil with cover crops. From making sure our soils have the right fertility so that our crops are not constantly struggling. From using row covers and netting to exclude what pests we can from the crop. From harvesting at the right time, to keeping things irrigated. From keeping good records on our crop rotations and observing daily what’s going on in the field. From seeding and planting at the right time. From including herbs and flowers in our field that attract beneficial insects. Each component of the system works to help keep our crops healthy and pests to a minimum. We do not always win the battles, but with continuous observation and learning we can and are improving on what we do here each year: without resorting to the use of spraying pesticides of any kind on our crops. We’re digging in deep.