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Farm Musings

farm musingsFinally, a good stretch of planting weather! This is an awesome time of year. Things just start ramping up when the weather breaks. Every farm in the valley is going “hog wild” right now. But after the last few years, every one of us is pushing our equipment to get as much done as possible before…well, we just don’t know what the future holds and the weather is good now.

This last week, we were able to plant the potatoes. We are upping our planting by 500 lbs. this year. When it comes to potatoes, we are “plain Jane” around here. I like to plant one red variety called Red Lasoda. I like its flavor and it consistently performs well on our farm. The yellow variety is called Satina and it has to be one of the most flavorful creamy tasting “taters” for the fresh market. The plants are luscious and really respond to our valley soils. It feels good to have these planted and checked off the list.

June strawberries—I should have some, but that patch is weedy; oh man, is that patch ever weedy. I haven’t decided to weed or not. Sadly, it is a matter of economics. The cost to weed the patch would be more than the crop is worth. As you can infer, I am leaning towards just picking it. The strawberries for August are looking good and less weedy, at this time.

Our sugar snap peas are up and going. They will probably be ready to start harvesting mid-June. We just planted our second crop of them. I love those peas—plump, sweet, juicy peas—can’t wait!

We planted our first round of green beans. This planting may be a tad early—time will tell.

We have also started the first batch of winter squash in the greenhouse and will probably direct-seed a second batch as well. There are so many kinds of winter squash. We have settled on one acorn variety, three different varieties of Delicata and, of course, we planted a splash of Cinderella pumpkins.

But my favorite crop this year has been all the birds. With the addition of an orchard and a few hundred new trees planted around the farm, we have seen an explosion of wildlife. When we moved here there were the usual suspects like robins, swallows, a few Steller’s Jays and crows. Of course, there are lots of bald eagles and hawks, too. But this year we have a huge resident flock of finches and sparrows. 

I am really excited about a new addition to the mix of birds this spring—a nesting pair of Mourning Doves. Those doves are so beautiful and make great farm help. They have upwards of ten offspring a season and their favorite meal is weed seeds. And as far as I am concerned, they can have the whole crop of weed seeds. ☺