Waiting. Waiting. Checking greenhouse heaters. Checking the extended forecast. Drinking tea. The sweet Yogi brand of tea has a positive message attached to each tea bag. This past week, a tea bag selection brings the message ‘Patience pays.’ We wait some more. Taking deep breaths. Planting too early does no one any good. Calling our peer farmers.
“You able to get some plants in the ground?”
“Yeah, a few.”
“Yeah, here, too. A few. Doesn’t seem like enough.”
Last year we had tomatoes planted in the high tunnel (unheated greenhouse) by now. This year we are still picking chard and spinach and kale and salad from the tunnel on March 31, and plan to be picking those crops from the tunnel into April.
Spring will arrive. Summer will arrive. Plants will grow. We will feed people. But the devil in spring is that sometimes it is a “hurry up and wait” game. We have to be ready for whenever the planting window opens up. We have to hope that we won’t run out of space in the greenhouse in the meantime. (See the backlog of baby plants in the greenhouse with nowhere to go. There is a second greenhouse, too. Smaller. Equally full of trays.)
We have to have faith in the inevitability of the cyclic progression and check our frustrations that grow out of impatience. We have to adjust the business projections and the budget attached to the expectation that “spring” will arrive at a certain point and allow us to plant according to the idyllic schedule that we outlined in January. We take more deep breaths as we contemplate the vulnerability of supporting our family by growing and selling vegetables.
We surrender to the dictation of the weather. We meet the weather in the middle. We cover fields to keep the upcoming rain off the beds so that we can plant in that section in a few days. We embrace the row-cover dance, wherein we begin the laborious ritual of covering thousands of plants with blankets to keep them warm during these unseasonably cold nights. We load up on some more greenhouse heating fuel, and clear out some more space for trays of transplants. We brew some more tea, extracting reassurance from the messages attached to the tea bags. We receive three unsolicited love messages from CSA members telling us how wonderful our produce is and how important it is to be able to nourish their families with our vegetables. We are humbled – by weather, by CSA members. We tell the crew to expect some long days in the next week, as we see the planting window opening up. The vegetables will grow and we will feed people.
Available for Market Share CSA members to choose from this week:
Chard, Salad Mix, Spinach, Kale (curly), Microgreens, Pepper Jelly, Fermented Jalapenos, and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.
2015 Market Share CSA Members: Choose your selection through our Online Ordering to order for pick up on Wednesday, April 1 at our farm or at Good Health Herbs. (Heads up: We plan to return to the South of the James market starting this Saturday, April 4th.)
**Anyone may order select goods from us, when available, through Fall Line Farms, Richmond’s online farmers’ market. You can use discount code “broadfork” to earn a complimentary 6 month subscription.
Reminder: Our next Farm Tour is Saturday, May 9th at 2:30. Our Plant Sale is also that afternoon, from 1:00 – 5:00, where you can shop from our full selection of transplants for your garden. Please plan to join us, and spread the word!
Certified Naturally Grown farm in search of (in exchange for cash or vegetables)…
::Top loading washing machine (only the spin cycle needs to work)
:: Area rug approximately 6×9′ or bigger (to use in the area we are making in the barn in which our children may play and rest comfortably during work days)
**Note from our favorite livestock farm: Ault’s Family Farm now has rabbit meat available. There are rumors that you may be able to reserve chickens from them in the future. Send them a note if you are interested, and tell them you want to pick up at Broadfork. 🙂 firstname.lastname@example.org
**If you wish to invest in our farm, order from us in 2015, and have first access to our harvest, please Sign up for our 2015 CSA season! Though the main harvest season still awaits, your investment now allows us the funds needed in the early season.