It’s been wet. It’s been cold. I’ve been wearing my insulated boots this week, my warm fall coat, and my hat. That’s right, my warm wool hat. Welcome to spring in New England, where, apparently, anything can happen. There’s a whole lot to do on the farm right now, but a lot of it depends on the sun. The onions need hoeing, but without a hot, dry day to suck the life out of them, the weeds will just resprout. We need to rototill and bed-shape in our new field, but in this wet weather, the soil sticks to rake and rototiller tines, making the work slow and ineffectual.
So, we’re waiting. We’re doing what we can – handweeding the little beets and carrots, weed whacking the fence lines, painting signs, seeding in the greenhouse, catching up on emails and blog posts. Despite the rain and cold, which is getting a bit tiresome, and my restless muscles, which are dying to be making beds and planting tomatoes, the farm looks great. Eventually the rain will stop. We’ll get it all done like we always do – with a lot of help from our amazing community of farmers and friends, a bunch of superb folks always willing to shovel a load of compost, weed a bed of parsnips, hoe a row of onions, plant a flat of lettuce.
Hunt for the Elusive Month of May: A Photographic Journey through a Wet (but beautiful!) Spring
The New Field
Our beautiful new field, out back behind the barn. It’s a gorgeous piece of land, and my current favorite place on the farm.
Deer fence in the rain and mist. The soil in this field is clay, so unlike the sandy loam in our other two fields. It’ll be interesting to grow on two different soil types!
Currently home to potatoes. Soon to be home to tomatoes, eggplant, winter squash, popcorn, and more.
Tall tomatoes. These babies are ready to go in the ground!
Tomatillos. Really ready to go in the ground. We’ve been picking off their blossoms, and we’ll hopefully be planting them next week.
Arts and Crafts
We spent one rainy afternoon this week painting sings to put up in our fields. Art+farming=fun!
Variety signs. A bunch of awesome volunteers painted most of these beautiful signs. They’ll go up in the field to mark tomato, pepper, potato, and PYO bean varieties. This way, we’ll be able to tell red tomato varieties apart as we harvest them. Beautiful and useful at the same time!
Baby buckwheat coming up in the outback, aka the fall field. We spread buckwheat in all 50 beds. It’s a quick spring cover, which will add organic matter to the soil and suppress weeds before we plant here in early July. Also, it’s really cute.
Absolutely breathtakingly beautiful spinach growing in our cold frame. Also it’s delicious. We built the cold frames last year thinking we’d harden off seedlings in them, but we soon discovered there is not nearly enough space to efficiently fit all our seedlings. So they’ve turned into a fun home-garden-esque place to experiment. Right now they are full of this beautiful spinach, some tasty kale we planted last fall, and some parsley leftover from planting in the field.
Still Life with Garlic (Three Ways)
Garlic with water droplets.
Garlic with barn.
Garlic with misty field and November-like tree.
The Main Field
View of the weedy onions through the pea trellis.
Nice neat rows of burlap.
Tiny carrots. These are our second planting. We seeded our first carrots around April 10th. About 15 had come up by May 15th, so we hoed them under and planted arugula instead. This is the sort of thing that happens in cold, wet, springs. On the plus side, our first succession of beets, which we transplanted, are about 8″ tall and absolutley gorgeous.
Does it get more beautiful than this?
The hunt for the elusive month of May continues. I’d like to find it, as would these gorgeous peas, baby carrots, happy beets and brassicas, and greenhouse-cramped tomatoes. But as for the view along the way, all things considered, I’ve got no complaints.