This has been a magical year in the fields so far—a near perfect mix of sun, rain, warm and cool weather. Across the vegetable field the plants are happy and growing well. The dry spells have been dry enough and regular enough to keep a good handle on cultivating and hoeing, making the weeds easy to maintain. Just when you start to worry that the soil is too dry we’ve had a good, long, soaking rain. The field crops have been just as content. We have a beautifully germinated stand of feed corn, the cover crop on the fallow fields filled in nicely, and we are just getting going on a healthy looking haying window. Sweetest of all is the bountiful season of strawberries ahead of us. The first harvest of giant, dripping with sweet, fruits are ready to go out in the share tonight. Each plant supporting many more drooping clusters of growing berries waiting in the wings.
We finished up painting and siding the barn last Saturday. A huge joy, five years in the making. There is inside work to do and the list of odds and ends is plenty long, but the relief of a clean, well-enclosed, solid structure is palpable. New this week: the big walk-in cooler in the cellar is up and running, and the hay mow is ready to accept bales.
In the Farm Shares
In the veggie share: Strawberries, rhubarb, kale, bunching onions, asparagus, head lettuce, mesclun mix, napa cabbage, radishes, potatoes, carrots, beets, parsnips, celeriac, wheat berries, whole wheat flour and dry beans. We have a limited supply of broccoli today for the broccoli lovers, much much more to come. Green cabbage is softball size already. The garlic scapes are finally scaping. Baby beets and carrots next week. Napa cabbage is versatile—braise, stir-fry, grate it for slaw or fill the leaves with savory goodies, roll up and bake in sauce.
In the meat share: Broiler chickens, pork and beef. We are finishing up the last of the beef from the freezer and will butcher fresh as soon as this beautiful hay making window closes up. Lard and leaf lard are available for your strawberry-rhubarb pie crust.
- Full and By Farm: Spring Greens (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Leek Moth Larva (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Monthly Farm Tours (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: The Grass is Greener (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Sprouts (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Preparing Fields (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)