White Trout Lily

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A wildflower of mid-spring with colonies that are scattered in the woods at Chert Hollow.

Large Bellwort

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A wildflower of mid-spring that is scattered in the woods at Chert Hollow.

Putty Root

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Putty Root is a type of orchid that is fairly common in the rich soil of our wooded stream bottoms. Unlike most plants that send out leaves in spring and are done with them in the fall, Putty Root sends up its leaves in the fall, and they remain until about the time the plants flower in the spring (May or June, usually when we’re too busy to take a walk in the woods and look for orchid flowers). In November 2014, we found some stalks with seedpods in an especially vigorous group of plants. Opening up a seedpod provides a view of the prolific quantity of tiny seeds.

Lily Twayblade

This pretty orchid blooms in late May to early June in one small patch along the path from the packing barn to the produce field. This is the only place we’ve seen it, and not necessarily a place we’d expect to see an orchid. It is in a dense cedar thicket with few other wildflowers in one of the most historically eroded/abused parts of the farm. Deep gullies (that we speculate were the result of a past hog lot) neighbor it on two sides, but this orchid persists, and we enjoy seeing it.

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A closeup of the flower:

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Australian Brown Onion

This is the best intermediate day length, open-pollinated, storage onion that we’ve found. We seed these in February, transplant in late March (or so), and harvest in July. The onions below are ready for harvest.

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In 2012, we dabbled in seed saving for this variety. We picked the biggest & best looking onions from the 2011 crop, stored them through the winter, culled any that sprouted too prematurely, and planted the remainder. They flowered and successfully set seed, which we collected during the drought.

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Seed sources: We originally found this onion through Baker Creek. Certified organic seed has started to become available, including from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.

Crocus

bio_crocus1First recorded date of bloom (not always the same clump of crocus):

  • 2008: March 10
  • 2009: February 26
  • 2010: March 8
  • 2011: no data
  • 2012: February 18 (yellow)
  • 2013: February 17 (purple, sw of house, buried by nearly a foot of snow a few days later)
  • 2014: March 21 (purple, sw of house)
  • 2015: no data
  • 2016: March 4 (purple, sw of house & near barn)
  • 2017: February 19 (purple, sw of house)

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Daffodil

A pretty domestic flower that provides a useful marker for the progress of spring; see the blooming dates listed below.

First recorded date of bloom:

2007: March 21
2008: March 31
2009: March 25
2010: March 28
2011: March 21
2012: March 7
2013: April 2
2014: April 3
2015: no data
2016: March 8
2017: March 2