Exciting progress made on the new packing shed these last weeks. Finished the foundation preparations so we could get a cement truck in to pour a slab. The risk-taking truck driver had no qualms about driving right up the slope for better access. Thanks to Chandler Concrete for putting their insurance policy to the test. Up to this point it has been a lot of digging and investment to get the building up to 8″ high. Now we are continuing the concrete block work, up, up off of the ground. It’s been a tricky year to get work done — whenever we get a break in the rain there are 20 projects we want to tackle. Blockwork has been fit in as we can make time. But the linear, solid work of building with cement is a nice counterpoint to the often transitory and fleeting successes in the vegetable world. In 50 years our fields may turn back to forest, but when 8 tons of concrete goes in the ground it’s there for a while.
This year will definitely go down as the most weather-challenged year of farming. Spring was too cool and wet to get summer crops in on time. Summer still doesn’t feel as though it has truly arrived, temperature-wise. And the rain has continued to fall resulting in poor growth and even rot in the worst cases. We are counting our blessings as we have been unharmed by blight on the tomatoes (so far?) and our flower share members have been so accommodating and understanding with the smaller-than-traditional harvest. Spring wedding season went well and the summer celebrations begin soon. Here’s hoping we get lots of warm sunshine in the next two weeks to really bring out the best in the beds of blossoms.
The earliest wedding ever was scheduled in this, the most unusual year for weather. Thankfully the hoophouse crops hit their peak in time for Kristy and Ben’s wedding. The first photo is Kristy’s bouquet. Next, they challenged me with the opportunity to create large altar arrangements for the church. They pew arrangements were all made by daughter Zoe and tied on with help from the folks at St. Mary’s. Then I was off to battle the winds at Smithfield plantation with the table arrangements. I hope they remained upright through the reception…
What an enormous week. We picked, washed, and sold 99.8 pounds of greens. That doesn’t include the turnips that flew off the market stand, the herbs featured in local restaurant menus, and the asparagus that made its first appearance on the table. We’ll have enough in this week’s harvests to bring it to market next weekend.
We transplanted flowers, head lettuce, and a tunnel full of tomatoes. Just this morning we called in extra help to tuck in two beds worth of onions before the week of rain begins.
While all this farm work was going on, somehow Bert managed to find a way to make progress on the new washing shed. He prepared the drains and trenches and called in the concrete truck. Implausible as it seemed, we took a break from Friday’s harvest and market prep to pour footers. And Wednesday we took the day to attend the Backstreets restaurant auction and buy a few items to put in the shed once it’s finished.
I continue to make plans with couples to create the flowers that meet the vision for their weddings. The first one is later this month. The flowers in the greenhouse are doing well. This week we offered straight bunches of sweet william at market – reds, magentas, fuschias, pale pinks, and a hint of white. Next week we should have foxglove in a dreamy shade of apricot. The plants outside are coming, but with the unpredictable weather this spring, it’s a mystery when things will bloom.
A few spots remain in the roster for the flower share, but I think we’ll fill up soon. Be one of those rare folks that give the gift of flowers.
We’re talking about an on-farm event this year. Probably just a day for a visit. A loyal customer asked for a cooking class on greens. I’m not sure. That would mean a serious scrubbing at the house. When would that happen?