01 Mar March in like a lion, or is it a lamb?
The weather outside on the farm may be variable, with warm temperatures feeling like spring then cold windy days reminding us we still have 3 weeks of winter, but inside the propagation greenhouse it’s consistently beautiful and balmy. The tables are starting to fill up already as the sowing for this season has begun. The onions are the biggest wave of flats so far…200 cell trays, 1 seed per cell- hundreds spread across the tables, germinating on the warm coils of 70 degree water. Spring greens, early tomatoes, flowers, celery, parsley, slowly we move through the excel spread sheet seeding plan that we labored over this winter.
Here on our hilltop in Hilltown the wind can blow fierce and strong- our greenhouses take a constant beating. We reskinned one house that lost its cover in the worst of the storm, and are replacing two others that have ripped in the past year. We have grown accustomed to this part of farming here on this land…the howling wind used to keep us up at night. Now we roll with it a little better, for that which you can’t control is best let go.
The winter planning component is behind us, our annual organic certification paperwork has been submitted, seeds and supplies ordered. As CSA memberships steadily flow in we are thankful, for that income in the spring carries us until the crops can be harvested.
Winter is also the time for developing and tweaking systems of efficiency- be it tractor and equipment maintenance schedules and logs, creating food safety systems, planning for a larger cooler and wash facility, revising employee job descriptions and hiring practices…all the components that may not necessarily be horticultural, but come together to make our business stronger, safer and more efficient.
We are looking forward to trying some new crops this season. We are excited to plant asparagus in the spring. It will be a few years until this perennial is ready for harvest, and during those few years we will have to be vigilant with weeding and watering, but we are hopeful it will do well and reward our patience.
We are also looking forward to some new events and classes at the farm this season. We are partnering with my dear friend Rebekah Barnes of Rooted Rhythms for a series of short equinox and solstice blessings to be held out on the farm- one in spring, summer, fall and winter. We hope you’ll join us in the opportunity to connect with the rhythm of nature and the energy of the earth. The first event, a vernal equinox family ritual, will be held on Sunday afternoon, March 19, at 3pm so save the date! We will post event details on facebook very soon.
We are also planning a vegetable fermentation class with Amanda Feifer from Phickle in Philadelphia, scheduled for Wed. evening, June 7th, details coming soon. This class was a huge hit when we held it a number of years ago. Fermentation is all the rage, and it’s so simple and easy to incorporate into your weekly routine. And it’s a fantastic nutritional way to use up your CSA share! Amanda is the author of the must-have book, “Ferment Your Vegetables: A Fun and Flavorful Guide to Making Your Own Pickles, Kimchi, Kraut, and More”.
Enjoy winter’s last hoorah- spring will be here before we know it!
Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 12th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.