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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Poppies, daisies, and a rainbow

It has been a challenging spring. After the balmy winter came sudden heat in late March, followed by a spate of frosts in April, generous warmth in May, and now a series of heavy downpours in early June. It is no wonder that some crops struggle to adjust to this mixed bag of offerings from above. Farmers are having to contend with poor seasons for asparagus and fruits like apples and  peaches, the fruits not having set because of the frosts. Salad greens and starter plants in the greenhouses performed miracles early on, then flagged in the sudden onset of extended heat. Early markets saw healthy sales of arugula, baby kale, Swiss chard, beet tops, and lovely baby spinach and baby lettuce mix. The greenhouses then over-heated, and so began the annual anxious wait for the transition to field production to materialize. It is never smooth and recent washout rains have set things back significantly. So, sorry to Riverdale farmers market customers for not yet putting in an appearance. And sorry to restaurant buyers ready to roll with our tardy fresh local organic field greens.

As for us on the farm, life remains sprinkled with blessings – a cherished visit from my sister Jill who lives in Berlin and hadn’t been here to share our home in the hills before; birthdays prompting a happy spring fling with friends on a delightful holiday weekend evening; and now, after yet another thunderstorm brought buckets more rain, we are treated to the sight of poppies and daisies enveloped in a late afternoon rainbow. Now, let the sun shine in and the rows of greens, herbs and root crops explode into growth. Alongside these we have lavender, garlic, sunflowers and tomato season to look forward to. We have a lot of work to do to bring it all to market, with local help coming this year from Ray, Arie, Anne, and Jocelyn.