An Early Spring

Broccoli babies sprouting up!

Broccoli babies sprouting up!

In case you haven’t noticed, this spring in the Pacific Northwest has been a little…different. In the warm and sunny winter, we noticed the crocus and daffodils rising from their winter beds early. Many other spring sirens called early, too. With such a warm February and March, we’ve been scratching our heads as to when to get started with fall tillage and planting. If we plant too early and temperatures dip down to their regular chill or, worse yet, it floods, we risk the livelihoods of our precious plants and the tilth of the soil.

first tillage_2015

Our main field after a round of disking – a process in which the soil gets loosened and prepped for tilling.

We’ve settled somewhere in between. Our seeds are growing in First Light Farm’s makeshift propagation room (AKA Jane and Don’s basement) and in the last sunny days of the recent warm stretch, we got through some of our preliminary tillage. We also broke ground on a new acre that we’ll be putting into production this year. We were happily surprised to find that the soil, which had been covered by reed canary grass for many years, is beautiful and full of happy worms.

This past weekend, a great crew of First Light Farm veteran mini farmers, new mini farmers, and work share volunteers helped us set up a new large red tent that we’ll use for the new “Farmland Cafe.” With more farm stand visitors last year and our ever-lively team of interns, mini farmers, and kids running around, we found ourselves dreaming of having a separate space for lunches and customers. The new tent is much bigger and has great red-and-white stripes that yell out “Come eat with us!” from the road above.

As we enter our fourth season, we’re excited about the ways we’re in which we’re evolving and deepening. We have two new farm stewards that will help up work the land and teach visitors about different facets of our farm (more info on them coming soon!). We’re launching a new Community Buying Program for groups or individuals to buy and harvest in bulk at below-retail prices. Our Mini Farm program continues to stretch as veteran mini farmers take on more land and new mini farmers join us. We’re also delving into a new season of growing which always offers new mysteries, new joys, and new learnings. We hope that you will come share in this new season. We have a few spots left for new mini farmers and we always welcome people to join our work share program as a way to learn more about farming, get your hands dirty, and walk away with fresh veggies.

 

 

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