Hope you're enjoying the cool spring thus far. It got down to 21 degrees the night before last at the farm, which made us a little nervous. We tried to cover what we could and prayed the crops would survive. It looks like they did ok, but the cool and wet certainly slows things down outside. We keep telling ourselves how grateful we are to have so many tunnels to grow in because inside the tunnels is the only place where things are growing. Peas seeded 3 weeks ago are just starting to pop above the soil, which means everything is behind "schedule", but there's not much we can do about it (short of building more tunnels). When ya'll come out and see a new tunnel coming up, you often ask "How many of those do you need?" and we usually respond that we never seem to have enough tunnels. Even unheated tunnels give a tremendous boost to growth this time of year, especially in cold, wet springs.
We got the broccolini, cabbage, kale and chard transplanted outdoors and protected. Those crops won't be ready until the summer CSA. And we planted in the brand new tunnel as well. It's a very busy time of year for us as we attempt to work around the rains outdoors and transplant a huge number of tomatoes and peppers, etc in the tunnels amongst all the lettuces, radishes, and greens.
We had really good sprouting on the ginger again this year which we hope will be a good sign for a nice ginger harvest in September. With year-round farming, we're always having to think months ahead but also think about the day at hand. Every year is a bit different. We have a general planting and transplanting plan but weather conditions and circumstances affect day to day decisions. This is a fun challenge, but sometimes I feel like I'm suffering from decision fatigue. "is it too wet to transplant the kale?" "With the 50% forecast of rain tomorrow, should I go ahead and risk a carrot seeding?" "Will the wind die down enough for us to cover those crops with row cover before the forecast 29 degree low?" "Since the weather is cooler than normal, should I go ahead with weekly radish plantings, or skip a week to avoid an overabundance when they all get ready at the same time?" There are lots of unknowns and lots of decisions to be made based upon incomplete data. We ask for wisdom, make the best decision we can, and commit our way to the Lord, and we try not to second guess ourselves or play the "if only" "I shoulda coulda woulda" game. If it doesn't work out, we try again.
As an example; this past week we saw lots of rain in the forecast. Rain is generally good after planting but not if it's a super heavy rain. We did a lot of prep work in advance of the rain, if we didn't seed the beets before the rain, it might be more than a week before we'd get an opportunity, but the forecast looked like it could be a really heavy rain that might wash away the seeds. I wasn't sure whether to plant or to wait. We went ahead and seeded beets, radishes and turnips only to have them all washed away in the gully washer we had Wednesday night. So, we'll be reseeding those on Monday assuming it doesn't rain tonight. It's easy to get embittered at "wasted" efforts. And even though a few hours of work and some amount of money in seed will not yield a physical harvest, I think it can yield a spiritual harvest. This week while working I've been listening to an old puritan book called "The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment." The author challenges us to take everything we encounter good or bad as something we can and should thank God for. Personally, I often forget to thank God for the blessings much less the challenges. I wonder what lesson He's trying to teach me through this one tiny setback among many frustrating setbacks in life? Is He teaching me to be content in all circumstances? Is he preparing me to face much larger life obstacles with faithfulness? The author reminds us that no matter what tragic and terrible hardship we might be facing (I'm sure he's referring to circumstances far worse than losing some seeds), we should remember that we are blessed far beyond whatever curse we find ourselves under because we have the offer of eternal salvation before us.
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people" --- Ephesians 1:18 NIV
Dandelion Greens anyone?
We've got to clear out one of our plantings of dandelion greens to make room for Italian peppers. Yes, we for real planted those on purpose. We are not simply selling you our weeds:). They're actually Italian dandelions that we need to harvest to make room for the Italian peppers, so just think fine dining as you select these super nutritious greens. Not sure how to use them? Let's share some advice on the Facebook group.
Bread and Cheese.
Bread: Farm to Market Sourdough sliced, large loaf
Cheese: Hemme Brothers Rubbed and Smoked Cheddar block, 6oz.
We're very grateful for the opportunity to grow food for you. We pray that God uses the fruits of our labors to bless you.
Dave and Sheri