Spring 2013 Update: “Whew” and **Shrug**

Open Hands Farm logoHello Friends!We hope you are doing well and your stomachs are getting ready to start eating fresh veggies again.  🙂  We certainly are ready.  We’ve had a few tastes of dandelions and thinnings from the greenhouse, but visions of the bounty of summer are stirring from deep in our memories, and we’re excited to be working to make it happen for you again this year.  Allia is too– this morning the first thing she said was “let’s plant something!”  She’s catching on to what we do around here.  See the attached pictures for a glimpse at the bounty of life in the greenhouse, and of the last couple weeks.

This, um, “extension” of winter has given us the needed opportunity to focus on some long-term planning, and with the help of our great crew we’ve been getting everything ready ahead of time that we could possibly think of.  We knew when spring warmth came we were going to have to accomplish 2-3 weeks’ worth of work in one week or less, so when it warmed up last week you can only guess that we jumped up and headed for the fields.  We had 6″ today when we woke up, but we were comforted knowing we’d gotten a start in the fields, making farm fresh food on its way to all of us.  On Saturday we spread compost, on Sunday we plowed and smoothed the beds to prepare for planting, and on Monday and Tuesday we planted.  Of course with this Mayday gift in the forecast we had to throttle back a little bit — we couldn’t go putting out thousands of little plants and hope they’d survive and be happy about being covered in snow for a few days.  So we only put out seeds and the dormant plants:  seeds of spinach, peas, carrots, beets, radishes, greens, lettuce, flowers and herbs, plus dormant strawberry plants and seed potatoes (which are just chunks of potatoes with “eyes.”)  Back when the forecast was just for 1-3″ of snow we put out some broccoli plants too– we covered them with row cover, and they’re still standing under there, though shivering in the dark and cold.  So hopefully all of these will warm up and take off as the snow melts, and, we hope, the sun comes out.

This week once the fields dry out enough we’ll be back at it, planting thousands of onions, leeks, cabbages, broccolis and kales, and heads of lettuce.  Then we’ll take a brief break from planting, maybe dig in some new irrigation lines, pull some weeds and clean up some messes, before we start another big planting push for the warm-weather crops (peppers, tomatoes, squashes etc)  May it be warm by then!

You may know that we aim and plan to start the share in the first week of June.  Only once or twice in our seven years here have we had to postpone starting to the second week of June, and obviously this may be another one of those years.  The seeds we planted last week went in only about a week after our target date, so with some good sunshine and warmth in May starting on June 10th looks likely.  We’ll do everything we can to start getting food to you as soon as possible, and though we might have to, we really, really don’t want to start any later than June 10th.  We’ve got head lettuce and leaf lettuce planted in the hoophouses, and will probably soon be adding radishes and salad turnips.  Anything’s possible though– the start of the share could be earlier, could be later.  We will let you know for sure one or two weeks before the beginning with an email.  In the meantime we’ll be plugging away and soaking up any sun that comes our way, and we hope you can too!

A couple logistics notes:

In the next few weeks, Erin will be compiling all the preferences for share pick-up days; if you don’t hear from us it means it worked out to use your first preference.  If you haven’t sent your preference in yet, please do so soon.

Also, if you haven’t paid your remaining balance or told us your payment plan, please send us one of the above as soon as you can.  We are having less and less time to be in the office, as the fields are calling (when they are brown and green, not white), so whenever possible early payments save us a lot of work!

We do not have some emails for a few new member share partners.  If you are splitting a share, please check with your share partner to see whether or not they received this email.  If not, please have them send us their email addresses.

Thank you and can’t wait to see you all soon!!!

Your farmers,

Ben and Erin

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