Harbinger of Spring

Harbinger of Spring

Harbinger of Spring is typically the first spring wildflower to bloom in the woods.

First recorded date of bloom:

2007: March 13
2008: March 26 (up but not blooming on March 19)
2009: March 6
2010: March 25 (up but not blooming on March 15)
2011: March 18
2012: March 9
2013: March 15
2014: March 31 (not up on March 21)
2015: no data
2016: March 6
2017: February 25

Andover Parsnip

Andover

Andover is usually our choice variety of parsnip, largely because organic seed is (sometimes) available for this variety. (Sourcing organic parsnip seed can be challenging.) We haven’t noticed major quality or yield differences between this variety and a couple others we’ve tried, though we haven’t done side-by-side trials. Perfect parsnips are usually accompanied by a high percentage of small/split/oddly shaped ones, but that just seems to be the reality of growing parsnips in our soil. We think they are delicious enough to be worth the hassle.

We’ve learned the hard way to avoid weeding parsnips in the morning, especially on sunny days. Contact with the leaves, seemingly in conjunction with sun exposure, can cause a skin reaction in the form of blister-like bumps. Based on a small sample size, we’ve concluded that a high percentage of people exposed to parsnip leaves and sun will develop this rash. However, we wonder if the growing conditions matter; we’ve been growing parsnips for years, but had hardly encountered this problem until the severe drought year of 2012.

More on parsnips in the kitchen here.

Organic seed source: Fedco.

bio_andover_tops

Carrot, Danvers 126

A relatively short, pointy variety that does well in heavy soils. Very sweet in cold weather (fall/winter harvests). Spring plantings also have good flavor. Our standard carrot.

Organic seed sources: Southern Exposure Seed Exchange; High Mowing Organic Seeds.