08 Apr Between the rain drops
Record low temps, cold soil, intermittent rain, another finicky spring in Bucks County. Our crew seems perpetually clad in rubber rain gear, hands are cold, boots muddy. But there are still smiles at the end of each day, because after a winter of planning, we are finally planting.
The 1952 red seeder Cub tractor started right up on its first try- contributing to a valiant effort to direct sow spring radishes and turnips.
Fennel, lettuce, chinese cabbage, red and green cabbage, and spring onions were transplanted this week, despite the cold soil and muddy conditions. Row covers are reluctantly wrestled out of storage, unfurled in two hundred foot lengths, draped over beds and hoops, and weighed down with shovelfuls of soil. These giant sheets of permeable fabric will protect the new transplants from wind, cold and bug damage.
The heated greenhouse and coldframe overflow with even more vibrant plants, all bursting with vitality, waiting their turn to head out into the fields.
The garlic is peeking up through its winter blanket of straw. We moved en masse through the half acre, pulling the thick bedding back where it had been mulched too thickly last fall, giving the sprouts a chance to poke through towards the sunlight.
The CSA fills up slower than usual- is everyone still thinking it’s winter, we wonder? Despite the chilly temps, spring is here and summer will come. Our tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants and melons are sown- teasing us with visions of hot sweaty days, the juice of summer fruits running down our chins.
Two thousand heirloom tomato plants were grafted and are starting to take- soon they will leave their healing chamber and begin the journey to the high tunnels. The onions have been given a few haircuts, promoting bulb growth and strengthening the roots of the seedlings.
“To engage in any creative process, to live each day fully, we have to find our way back to the willingness to begin again- and again.”- Oriah Mountain Dreamer
The spring peepers and the red winged black birds sing, the pendulum swings between warm days, cold days, sunny days, rainy days. The earth stirs from its winter slumber, perhaps dragging its feet more than usual. This spring on the farm, we plant between the rain drops, rising each morning to face the elements and the tasks at hand.
Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.