The Quickening of Spring

The days are getting longer, and the prop house is filling up! The garlic is growing tall outside, and the earliest weeds, our native cover crop, are blooming and ready to provide for the earliest pollinators. Up to now, I’ve only seen the honeybees out foraging, but the earliest queen bumblebees will emerge soon, and the willows will be ready to feed their bee children with protein-rich pollen.

95% of my seeds for 2023’s crops have arrived, but I haven’t been able to purchase fertilizer yet, or irrigation supplies. The farm bank account is nearly empty, and I’m getting nervous about securing all of the necessary supplies since there have been supply chain shortages the last few years. The farm needs folks to enroll in the CSA. There is still room for 100 families for the summer season, and room in the supplemental Flower Bouquet and Pantry-Builder subscriptions. If you have friends or neighbors who might enjoy being a part of our farm community, please invite them to enroll! Also, we’ve added a free pick-up location at Shadow Lake Preserve in Renton. All the links are below!

Honeybee taking advantage of sun in February.

I’m very excited to welcome Kyle Putnam as an intern this season! She is working on an online Horticulture degree at OSU. She’s getting married in March, but will be starting work here in April/May as things get busier in the field.

I’m Still Looking for a Farm Operator/Manager Trainee

I have been frustrated and disappointed by my attempts at finding a successor up to now, so this time I am working with the Farm to Farmer organization, formerly Washington FarmLink. I have created a listing there, and they have advisors to help with all the aspects of transitioning. I’ll be working to refine my listing in the coming weeks, but I’m hoping to bring this new person(s) on board this spring to start the learning/weaning process. Please share this link with anyone you think may be interested: https://farmtofarmer.org/node/655

The Garlic are looking great!

Cutflowers: U-Pick and Pre-made Bouquets

The U-Pick Cutflower Garden is ready to start planting the earliest varieties in just a few weeks, as soon as they outgrow their greenhouse trays. I’ll be opening up the Cutflower Garden to the public, for a fee, this year because some folks are happy to pay a lot more money for flowers than they are for food. As far as I know, there are no other U-Pick Flowers in this area, so I’m hopeful that this will become a profitable income stream as well. DON’T WORRY THOUGH: All CSA members will always have free access to the U-Pick garden for their weekly bouquets!

Bulk Pantry-Builder Boxes

I’m excited to offer these bulk produce options every 3-4 weeks this summer. Pantry-Builder will start with a hefty allotment of plump Sugarsnap Peas, then provide for making Pickles, Pesto, and Tomato Sauce for winter, and help you to stash a supply of Garlic, Onions, and Squashes for the dark months. These are available as a subscription now (at a discount), but I also hope to offer them individually during their seasonal windows.

We’ll be eating Sugarsnaps before we know it!

A Reminder about Farm Finances…

The nature of the CSA model is that I depend on CSA enrollments in order to purchase farm supplies in the winter, as well as to pay the farm mortgage and utilities, and to buy groceries. If you haven’t yet enrolled for 2023, and are able to, please don’t wait. It’s a few months until we will have surplus produce available to market outside of the CSA. Here are all the purchasing links. Please share widely, it will take 200 CSA families to cover myself and another farmer. (That’s about 40 more families than last year.) Thank you so much!

2023 CSA Enrollment

2023 CSA Enrollment is open to everyone, and there are plenty of Summer and Winter Shares available. Here’s the store link

Flower Bouquet Subscription: 16 bountiful, seasonal bouquets. Here’s the Flower Bouquet link

Pantry-Builder subscription: Bulk boxes of Sugarsnap Peas, Basil, Pickling Cucumbers, Garlic Braids, and more. Here’s the Pantry Builder link

2023 is going to be a great season!

With much gratitude,

Shelley

Purple Deadnettle is one of the first weeds to bloom, and it is greatly loved by pollinators.

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