Winter has returned. It’s been below freezing for two days now, and we’re hauling water to the critters again. We’ve taken down bean poles from last year, the garlic is growing, and my winter food stores are waning. We’ve been ordering seeds, making plans, and getting things done when we can.
Because Spring will be inching closer more rapidly after this cold snap, this is a good time to toss out a reminder for our early payment deadline. February 15 is just 10 days from now, so if you want to save a bit, get your application form in ASAP. Paying in February helps us immensely because we are figuring out how to pay for everything that we will need for the next few months—labor, fertilizer, tractor parts, irrigation parts, row cover material, seed, and a new tomato greenhouse. Help us by signing up for our CSA in February!
The first seed orders arrived, and I delivered the special things that need an extra-early start to our friend, Gina, at Auburn Mountainview High School. She runs the horticulture program there, and she utilizes their heated greenhouse to teach the kids in her classes vital skills in seed starting, plant growing, and marketing. And, her kids start a few things for us. Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Artichokes, early Basil, Thyme, Parsley, and Snapdragons for the u-pick garden. See, we don’t have a heated greenhouse, and having Gina’s kids do these crops for us gives us a leg up of 4-6 weeks. And they come to the farm much healthier in April than they would be if we started them under grow lights.
I was ready to start our early, hardier crops—kale, Swiss chard, broccoli, onions, cabbage, etc.—and I’m glad I didn’t yet, or we would have likely lost them this week in the deep chill this week. So, I’m glad the seeds are still sitting safely on the dining room table, and I will gladly start them next week. We will also be starting early carrots, turnips, and spinach for the Spring CSA—and we’re shooting for harvest in late April/early May.
This morning when I woke up, I looked out at the wintry white landscape, and thought to myself how glad I was that we have no baby animals right now. No fuzzy little chicks, huddling in a brooder and freezing, no baby pigs trying to keep warm and getting squished under their mom, and no cows calving in the middle of a frozen field. We do have a couple of new additions, however. Pete and Penny. They are just for companionship and entertainment, and they are very friendly, so be sure and say hi to them. They’re very sweet.
The hens are gearing up for spring, and we’re eating a dozen eggs a day and wondering how to keep up. If you want eggs, now is the time to load up. If you’ve got an egg punch card from last year, stop at the farm stand and pick some up from the fridge. If you don’t have a punch card, you can leave payment in the tin—Limited Time Winter Egg Special is $6 per dozen, or 2 dozen for $10.