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March 13, 2016
Warm Thoughts
A Note from the Farmer's Wife
The spring peepers started peeping this week. The tractor has begun its work, tilling and amending soil. The triple greenhouse is warm and beckons the first planting. And the birds, well I guess here is my chance to throw out the work “cacophony,” for surely that is descriptive of the racket they are making. And just like the birds, the Farmer and I wake each day earlier and earlier, instinctively preparing for the long days ahead.
A Pennsylvania country spring holds magic for me. I still burst with childish delight when I find the first purple crocus appear amongst the leafy mulch of my garden. Eagerly, I push aside debris and think of little Mary Lennox, in The Secret Garden, doing the same. Then I will sit back on my heels and watch my daughter aptly dig for worms while Robin Redbreast admires her work from a safe distance.
It feels a little odd to have this indulgent warmth so early, but I cannot resist the happiness it fill me with. It also inspires me to plant flowers. 3500 gladiola bulbs, 400 dahlia tubers, several thousand sunflowers…the list goes on. The Farmer, naturally, is thinking vegetables: 60,000 onions, 20,000 heads of lettuce, 4000 tomato plants…you get the idea. How do we get so excited year after year about so much work? The answer lies in the magic of growing things, combined with the ultimate satisfaction of feeding people who love to eat them. That would be you!
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November 8, 2015
November Beauty
A Note from the Farmer's Wife
Our November CSA has leapt out of the gates with gusto. Beautiful, sweet greens, carrots and broccoli, luminescent with the magic combination of chilly nights and warm sunny days, fill our boxes. With fewer boxes to fill and a lack of weeding and irrigation demands, our thoughts start to quiet. With a big heaping sigh, we breathe out gratefulness. A perfect sentiment for this time of year. The bounty of the growing season and the enthusiasm with which our customers consume that bounty fills us with satisfaction. Plans for next year percolate as we begin the wind down of the busy season.
My favorite autumn task involves digging in the dirt. First, dahlias and tender flower bulbs must be dug and stored for the winter. If any of you purchased and planted dahlia tubers, now is the time to carefully lift them from the soil. A digging fork works well. If your plants were large expect a massive clump of about 15 new tubers. Once out of the ground snip the plant growth, leaving an inch of stalk and wash the tubers clean. Store in well aired box at 50 degrees for the winter. Even if you don’t want to go to the trouble of storing these (we will be happy to sell you more at the spring plant sale), its still fun to dig them up and check out the beauty of the world beneath the ground. (Lots more info about dahlias here).
On the other hand, now is the time to plant tulips, daffodils and other spring beauties. Look for bulbs that are a good size and looks fresh enough to eat (but don’t eat them!). A lot of grungy leftovers can be purchased at certain box stores, so beware. To plant, simply dig a hole 4-5 inches deep with a trowel, add a pinch of bone meal, or fancy bulb food, place the bulb right side up in the hole and cover with earth. The happiness that blooms in the spring will be worth the effort.
If you are feeling a little blue, or detached from nature, you might be surprised how much dirt can cheer you up. Kids cranky? Take a spade, hit the yard (not the kid) and dig for worms together. Pick through the earth to find them with bare hands - no gardening gloves! And then resist the urge to wash your hands right away. Modern science backs up what I am saying here - everyone will feel a lot better before you know it!
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