As I sit down to write for the second spring share, I look out my window at the second heavy snow fall of the week. What a different spring this is from last year. Last year we were already able to work the soil in our outdoor fields in Mid-March, and by then abnormally dry conditions had already set in-conditions that have only recently started to turn around. We are glad for more precipitation, especially in the spring. Last year just felt strange--AND there were no morel mushrooms to be found! This year feels a little more normal, but we are indeed antsy to get into the fields to start planting for the regular season.
Because every year is so different, we have learned that you can't really count on anything! What does well one season may be a total bust the next year. So far that has proven to be true this year. Last year we were loading boxes with spinach that over-wintered in our outdoor fields under a temporary miniature version of a greenhouse. This year we have been unable to harvest that planting and so we are glad that we diversified with a planting in our hi-tunnel of both spinach and kale for spring shares.
Growing greens this time of year without supplemental heat and light feels a bit like wizardry. Nothing else outside has even greened up yet and the trees are still without leaves. The days to maturity dates in seed catalogues which are supposed to tell you how long a crop takes from seeding to harvest don't mean a thing. For example kale mix is supposed to take 30 days from planting to harvest. Well it was seeded last October and we are just harvesting it now, so that is actually 147 days! This kale, seeded last October, made it through the winter miniature in size which means that it remained that size for about 100 days. Since the last share on March 24th, it has tripled in size-so much so that we will offer it as bunched kale for the coming share.