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Tuesday, April 5, 2011
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When the first warm days of March arrive, gardeners get excited. It’s like our seeds will burn a hole in our pocket and we rush out to plant. But only a few vegetables can survive the inevitable cold that follows.

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I’ve made a few folks happy this spring when they hear I haven’t planted anything besides onions. The ground is still too cold for other crops. Moisture in the soil has kept us out of the fields, too.

So we’re making compost for the 2012 crops. To keep my sanity, I have to act like things won’t drastically change here. Piling up hay and manure makes me feel better.

Large piles of compost sit next to newly plowed land, awaiting a few sunny days. We’ll  spread it, rebreak and then lay off rows. 2700 pounds of seed potatoes need to be cut up, dropped in and covered. In three months, 15 tons of spuds will need to be picked up.

Year after year the cycles spin around, like wheels within wheels. The hay is cut and fed, manure is piled and spread, potatoes are planted and harvested. Very little energy from outside of Macon County is needed to farm this way.

10,000 onion plants need tickling. The tiny seedlings, barely poking up, want to know that weeds won’t engulf them. Braids of last year’s onions are sprouting green shoots and will get dropped in a furrow for our first green onions. Four bushels of sets wonder where they are going, as I do, too. One dry day we will find out.

Enthusiasm mediates, we have to hold the reins, especially when it rains. Without enthusiasm nothing happens on the farm. But over-excitement in the spring can easily lead to working the soil when it’s too wet, resulting in clods.

So I turn to orchards, we can prune and tend the fruit trees and berries while we wait for the garden soil to dry out. a few more apples and pear trees, and a few more  raspberries and blackberries got planted, and others are getting the weeds pulled from around them.

Orchards are beautiful, and they smell good too. Our honeybees fly from bloom to bloom, coming back to the hive laden with pollen. A farm with fruit is a farm that is loved, by insects, birds, animals and neighbors.

To everything there is a season. Right now we are planning, not planting. visions of veggies and flowers will soon become a reality, and we look forward to sharing them with other enthusiastic gardeners.

Please join us at the Armour Hotel this Friday for homegrown chicken, spinach, kale tops, sweet potatoes, pesto, cornbread, pumpkin pies and much more. All will be fresh from the farm to you, with a bit of homemade music, too.

 

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