News from the Farm | April 1, 2024

It’s the first week of April, and it’s spring! Which means a few things:

We’re experiencing dramatic weather shifts between days, or even within the same day, going from rainy and grey to sunny and warm, or the other direction, and we can still get some low temperatures at night and will have some colder days later this week. 

As you can see, the hills of the Capay Valley are lush and green!

Transplants and small direct-seeded crops are growing at a speedy clip and trees are budding. Grapes and figs pictured above.

The start of the flower CSA season! We’re excited and we know that many of you are too!

Three friendly reminders: 

  • always check the sign-out sheet before taking flowers. It’s so disappointing when someone arrives and their flowers aren’t there
  • after you take your flowers, make sure that the remaining bouquets are still in the water
  • it’s not too late to get flowers for a future week – the flower CSA season goes until the end of September. Email us if you want flowers on a regular basis (with each box, every other box, etc.) or you can add them to any week in the CSA member store.

More flowers! This time of year, there are flowers everywhere, not just in the carefully tended fields of bulbs, corms, transplants, and seeds. The redbuds are blooming, you can see native flowers on the edges of fields and on the Valley hills, trees are in bloom (in the photos above, apricots on the left and pears on the right), and cover crop fields (and regular crop fields) that haven’t been mowed yet are full of flowers. In the photos below: white radish flowers and purple pea flowers in the cover crop, and a field of flowering broccoli. 

If you stand still near a row of flowering trees or plants, the amount of pollinator activity is amazing. The plants are abuzz! If you turn up the volume loud enough on the video below, you can hear it for yourself!

Unfortunately, warming weather tends to lead to aphids. We release beneficial insects (learn more here), spray if necessary (with a garlic-clove oil or cedar oil), and avoid picking particularly buggy produce, but despite our efforts, you may find some aphids on your produce at some point this spring. Aphids are unappetizing but produce with aphids is perfectly safe to eat. Swish the aphidy produce in cold water that has a drop of soap or pinch of salt added. The salt or soap reduces the surface tension the aphids use to connect to the produce.  Leave the item in the cold water for a few minutes, swish it around, use your fingers to rub off the aphids, then drain and rinse.

Elaine Swiedler, CSA Manager