Winter Week 5 from Valley Flora!

  • Purple Cabbage
  • Baby Bunch Carrots - our first harvest from the winter greenhouses!
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli/Spring Raab Mix
  • Cauliflower
  • Bunched Winter Greens - a mix of mizuna, mustards and tatsoi
  • Mini Daikon Radish
  • Shallots
  • Purple Moon Potatoes
  • Russian Kale
  • Micro Mix: The 24 degree temps two weeks ago burned our baby pea shoots in the greenhouse, so yields were half as much as planned. Fortunately we had spare radish and mesclun micro so were able to pack pea shoots for Farm members and radish/mesclun for our Bandon members.

The Tease of Spring

As we head towards the vernal equinox, the roar of the peepers in the wetland behind the horse barn is cacophonous. I wonder: how do my big ponies get a wink of shut-eye amidst that deafening chorus? It's such a marker of the season, and I love it, despite the need for earplugs when I'm doing the evening chores. Other signs, too: daffodils; blossoms on the wild plum trees; lambs and calves bouncing up on the hill; the sweet, heady smell of favas in bloom and the perfume of winter daphne by my mom's front door. But what a tease: I was stripped to a t-shirt and sweating on Monday while harvesting in the greenhouse, but on Tuesday morning my feet were numb in my Xtratufs, the chill penetrating and insistent.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture seasonal forecast is calling for a colder and wetter-than-normal March-April, and a hotter and drier May. That may spell some spring challenges for us if we can't get into the field and hit our usual planting dates in the next two months. The weather always dictates our movements on the farm to some degree, but never quite so much as this time of year. I am yoked to climate models like a tick on a dog for the next three months, pretty much unable to make plans beyond the 10-day forecast. If I leave town and miss that critical week of dry weather when I could have worked up ground and gotten things planted, so much for early broccoli or a steady supply of lettuce. In all these years of farming we've certainly had all kinds of Springs - and all kinds of Spring setbacks - but somehow it always seems to work out, so long as I stay near the homestead and am ready to jump when an opportunity presents itself. So here I be.

As for today, the drizzle is perfect: there's a mountain on my desk that I need to get through and this is just the kind of day for it (all to say, if you sent your CSA payment last week and haven't gotten an email confirmation from us yet, it's because it's been too sunny!). :)

Enjoy the dynamism of early spring and keep an eye out for rainbows!