Spring Week 2: A Beautiful Start

April Fools' Day, and the ladybugs are out, looking for nectar to feed on until they mate and lay eggs. The arugula is blooming.

April Fools’ Day, and the ladybugs are out, looking for nectar to feed on until they mate and lay eggs. The arugula is blooming.

THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
Collard Greens
• Spring Onions
Kale Broccolini
Broccoli Raab (Rapini)
Brussels Sprout Broccolini
• Salad Mix (mostly baby lettuces)
• Claytonia (Miners’ Lettuce)

Click on the links above for information and recipes about these crops.

COMING SOON:
Green Garlic
Spinach
Pea Shoots
Baby Turnips

I think we can agree it’s been a fairly mild winter. Not really any snow to speak of, no ice storms, and really, not as much rain as we’re used to getting. One of the drier winters in a long while, for sure. However, it was still an incredible surprise to hit 70 degrees on March 31, and the days leading up to that sunny Easter weren’t too shabby either.

We usually put in a big planting of all the different kales in early fall. We harvest the leaves through the winter, but the sweetest reward comes in the spring, when we have lots of these delicious broccolini to pick.

We usually put in a big planting of all the different kales in early fall. We harvest the leaves through the winter, but the sweetest reward comes in the spring, when we have lots of these delicious broccolini to pick.

All that warmth and sun is glorious, and it sure makes the leafy things start a-growing! All of the overwintered brassicas shot up their flower stalks, yielding tasty rapini or broccolini (depending on their family). All can be lumped into the same broad family, whether they are the flowers of cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, or turnips. The turnip and mustard side of the family produce the bitter type, but the kale/cabbage side of the family produces sweet, tender little stalks that are delicious roasted or sautéed. We have been eating some form of them every night now.

The extra brightness also brings the chickens into full-swing egg-laying mode. Just in time for Easter! They start up the cackling at 5:30, and are at full peak around 6:30am. Their production is up to around 7 dozen a day, so if you’re in need of eggs, make sure and grab some. Let me know if you need an egg punch card!)

The young hens, or pullets, are getting so close to laying. We’re finding 2-4 eggs per day, but in another month they should be up to 4 or 5 dozen a day.

With the stretch of sunny, dry days, we’ve been able to get a lot of ground ready for planting, including the new cow pasture. Tomorrow we will be able to rest a bit, having peas, fava beans, arugula, mizuna, salad greens, kale, chard, spinach, beets, carrots, turnips, and radishes planted.

We’re anticipating picking the greenhouse spinach next week, and the beets, turnips, and carrots inside are coming along nicely. Spring is delicious!

(Photos in this post courtesy of Shawna Smith, Sweetriver Photography)

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