“And the flowers bloom like madness in the spring” – Ian Anderson
With our last snowfall (hopefully) on May Day, we’ve gradually warmed up, and it looks like this week will see us clear into glorious spring – the most deliciously stressful time of year around our farm.
On April 29th (a full month behind last year), in between snows, we managed to interseed some hay ground, “drilling” three kinds of perennial grass, white clover and chicory into the existing alfalfa, in preparation for converting it to pasture next year. Then we planted a couple of acres of “Forage Cocktail” – nine different annual plants from radish to buckwheat – as a cover crop where the soil needed a rest. The cattle will graze it a couple of times, plop down a little fertilizer, and then it will be plowed in for organic matter to help build the soil.
Fellow farmer Greg Reynolds has become an advocate for seed saving, and I’m “boarding” a bunch of his cabbage plants this season. Cabbages are biennial, producing seed in the
second year (if you don’t eat the cabbage head), but in order to maintain the integrity of the variety, they can’t be anywhere near other flowering brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.); so Greg has asked other farmers to babysit the plants. Right now the cabbages look like something you forgot to throw in the compost, but Greg assures me they will get 4 feet tall and look like Christmas trees.
The garlic has been very slow in coming on this year, and I’m holding my breath until we know for sure that it survived last year’s aster yellows phytoplasma infestation. We hope to at least get back our seed stock, with some left for your tables and gardens.
We’re still taking orders for grass-finished beef quarters!