News from the Farm | March 11, 2024

As Dru wrote last week, we’ve had a lot of grey, cold, and wet days over the past couple weeks and months. The rain has been perfectly (or rather, unfortunately) timed to come right as things just start to dry out, which gets in the way of planting and weeding that will be crucial for abundant harvests in a late spring. Plus too many grey days in a row can start to feel a bit gloomy and monotonous. Six months from now we’ll be eagerly awaiting a cloudy, rainy day but when they’re abundant, they don’t feel special. 

We have had some bursts of sun and signs of spring (robins, flowering and budding fruit trees, sun). During these bursts of sunshine last week and the week before, there were some share-worthy happenings cataloged below! Though don’t let these photos fool you – these sunny days have been the exception.

Wednesday the 28th and Thursday the 29th were huge (almost) all hands on deck planting days. We hand transplanted several rows of flowers and 58 rows of vegetables (chard, kale, collards, lettuce, cabbage, and more!). The soil was still a little more damp than is ideal for the tractor work required to turn a field planted in a cover crop to a plantable surface, and we had to do the transplanting by hand, but it was a window of almost-dryness that we had to take advantage of before getting more than an inch more rain before the end of the weekend. On Saturday (the 9th), we were able to transplant another acre and a half, including a lot of lettuce. Get excited lettuce lovers!

The flower team has been harvesting some stunning tulip varieties! They are so beautiful and it’s fascinating to watch them open in a vase over the course of days, or even over a few hours, if they’re in a particularly warm or sunny spot. Unfortunately, a lot of our tulips are blooming with really short stems. They do grow taller when in water, but their short stature makes for a challenge selling and transporting them. 

They’ve also been hard at work weeding the flower fields, caring for the flowers that could be yours in a few short weeks!

On Friday the 8th, Andrew hosted a group of local farmers for one stop on a Capay Valley cover crop Open House tour, organized by our local UC Cooperative Extension Organic Agriculture and Small Farm Advisor. It was an hands-on exploration and discussion of cover cropping practices and experiences. The group compared several of our fields to see, feel, and smell the differences in those field’s soil. If you’ve never talked about soil health and cover crops with a bunch of soil-loving nerds, you’re missing out!

We got a sprinkling of rain last night, but hopefully it won’t slow down our weeding and transplanting work too much. Our greenhouses are full and there’s lots to do!

Elaine Swiedler, CSA Manager