20 Mar Happy Spring Equinox & Super “Worm” Moon!
It is with the first call of the red winged blackbirds that I know spring is right around the corner. It is only in the past few days that there is some glimpse that the farm fields may be beginning to dry out. Winter came fast and fierce this year. The wind roared off the plastic coverings on more of our high tunnels than I’d like to say. There are so many challenges specific to this land that we farm- heavy soils and a windy hilltop being chief among them. It will be a while before we fully recover from last year’s extremely wet season but we pray and hope that it will be an early and dry spring.
Seeding in our heated greenhouse began in late February with the onions, and has continued weekly, the greenhouse now full to the brim with seedlings in various stages of growth. Kale, lettuce, chard, basil and tomatoes, flowers and more- hundreds and thousands of seeds being sown. We have brought on a new employee to manage the care and seeding of these magical creatures, Dan Zerbe, plant papa extraordinaire. His dedication and steady good humor has been a pleasant addition to our team, and he has been busy bringing your future meals to fruition.
Over the course of the last month in our propagation greenhouses we have been to battle with both mice and aphids- the mice are a familiar foe, the aphids a new problem. Every farmer we follow on social media seems to have their own tactics and methods to outwit rodents, many building elaborate cages around their plants to keep them out. Farmers are nothing if not creative! Some of you may remember last spring we basically sunk an underground barrier of aluminum flashing around the entire perimeter of our two 100′ heated greenhouses. Yet there have been breaches- so we set traps, use steel wool and extra layers of 2×4’s to plug holes. We bait traps with peanut butter and their most scrumptious favorite- spinach seed. So far, we are winning the battle. As for the aphids, a combination of lady beetles and Aphidius colemani (mini-wasps), both natural parasitic predators, has turned the tide in our favor. Whoever said farming was a peaceful endeavor never stepped onto a farm, it’s an eat-or-be-eaten world 😉
Other tasks keeping us busy (besides greenhouse repair and pest control) is compost making. A combo of municipal leaves and horse manure mixed and turned and heated to a toasty 140 degrees is a recipe for black gold.
Looking ahead to harvest season, I’m super excited because we have not one but two amazing women on board to provide weekly recipes created straight from your CSA shares. Stephanie Borzio from Tru You Essentials returns for another season, and Olivia Edgar joins us. Check out Olivia’s mouth watering instagram posts @balancingliv for a glimpse of the goodness to come.
We’re still only half way to our membership goals, so spread the word to friends and family. And if you haven’t signed up yet, now’s the time! Your investment now in the season ahead really helps us get all those supplies we need to get things rolling before the harvest is flowing. We’ve got something for everyone this season- delivery share folks have the opportunity to purchase the 12 week fruit share from North Star Orchard that we have previously only been offering as an add on for on-farm members only, and for an extra fee we will deliver it with your boxed delivery produce shares. We are also offering an 8-week summer flower bouquet share to our delivery sites for those not interested in the pick-your-own option- straight from our field to your vase! Register here!
It’s March 20th, the Vernal Equinox and the full worm moon, a powerful day- get outside and breathe in the air of spring, bask in the light of the last supermoon of 2019 and tread lightly on the earth, at this moment of almost balance between night and day. Say a blessing for the season ahead and for this wonderful land that sustains us.
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 14th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.