As the land quietly rests under a layer of brilliant white snow, within it lies the very source of life. Waiting patiently until the sun with her warmth and the rain with her nourishment come and bid her to awaken to a new year. The earthworms, the tiny microbes and all the living particles will come back to life as if by magic and begin their journey of sustaining the soil. The wind blows bringing the smell of winter and cold, but suddenly upon the breeze will be the unmistakable scent of the earth awakening. I love that moment. It often comes during the night and calls to me to get out of bed, stand at the open window and just inhale. Every year since my childhood, I’ve done that, and now, my adult children phone me and say, “Mama, did you smell the earth last night? It’s coming alive again.” The earth calls to us from generations of our Irish roots and we are listening.
I want to thank each of you for the privilege of growing chemical free, life giving fruits and vegetables for you and your family. There were so many babies born last year and it makes my heart smile to think of them being nourished on food grown so close to where they live. Strong bodies and clear minds ready for the adventure of life. As it has been down through the centuries, providing food for the community is such a privilege and I am so grateful to be your farmer.
This is our fifth growing season here at the new farm. We are beginning to get into a rhythm of rotation. Each crop requires different nutrients from the soil, so we try not to plant the same ones in the same space each year. That way the ground has time to be replenished with compost, manures and other admendments which keeps it strong and healthy. Healthy ground = healthy, strong plants that can withstand the onslaught of a wild weather and hungry insects. Plants that are well nourished also have the energy to put into developing incredible flavor and texture. We have several different varieties of tomatoes this year. I was contacted by an heirloom seed breeder this winter who would like us to grow some varieties in the field before they offer them to seed companies (such as Johnnys). That should be interesting and hopefully, net our CSA family some delightful surprises. I’m enlarging the black raspberry patch in hopes of having lots of different types of berries. We are still working toward having a Upick on berries, too. Our CSA families will be the first to know when that is available. More blueberry and blackberry bushes are going in the ground this spring. Also, some rhubarb from Italy. That should be fun to taste!
I’m still making final seed selections, so if you would like to see a particular variety in your share this summer, just let me know. I’ve ordered some extra bags of fingerling potatoes, Spanish peppers, elephant garlic, romance carrots and several other exciting varieties that I’m looking forward to growing. I’m also planting some colorful, small heads of heirloom lettuce, a purple Chinese cabbage and a beautiful dried beans.
Spots are filling up quickly this year, so be sure to fill out your enrollment form and send it along with your payment to the farm address.