Early April farm happenings

Spring has finally arrived in our valley, and with vigor. In just the past week of warm weather, an intense flush of green growth has invigorated the grasses, weeds and wildflowers everywhere we look. Lots of spring birds are arriving, while a diverse chorus of frogs provides background ambiance.  The very slow start to spring pushed our outdoor work far behind as we waited for the soil to dry & warm. Finally, last week’s dry spell allowed us to undertake a marathon week of bed prep, seeding, transplanting, and more, exhausting ourselves thoroughly while enjoying finally moving forward with the growing season. This important work was cut off by the recent swath of strong storms which dumped over 2″ of rain, very heavy at times, and caused various problems with flooding and erosion (with minimal problems in the growing area, but roads especially aren’t pretty). And, of course, this once again slows down our planting & seeding plans while we wait for things to dry out.  We  could really use a nice, long stretch of pleasant weather, however unlikely that is in a typical Missouri April (the upcoming forecast has repeated rounds of rain again). Read on for some photos of early spring on the farm, and a glimpse of the first new crops of the year.CSA2_1Early April panoramas of our main growing areas, showing the intense green just beginning to appear; these photos are already out of date as conditions advance very quickly. In the foreground above you see a block of cattle-panel pea trellises, with the peas seeded and (hopefully) protected from rabbits by a low electric net fence. Also present here: overwintered spinach, sorrel, garlic, & onions; recently seeded beets, lettuce, and spinach; and recently transplanted scallions. Below, our smaller field with lots of things just getting started (transplanted onions, cabbage, & kale; direct seeded carrots, radishes, saute mix, and mustard; overwintered garlic, onions, and chives).

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Below, Joanna hard at work transplanting kale, cabbage, and onions. CSA2_3

We’d really like the weather to moderate and get us off to a good start this year, or at least a less stressful one that it’s been so far. In the meantime, look for a CSA newsletter on Monday discussing an upcoming distribution later in the month.

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