In Your Box:
Scallions or leeks
“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”
By Griffin Cassara
The farm season seems to be picking up all around us. The greenhouse is full to the brim with healthy plant starts and seedlings, the fields are filling up weekly with newly sown beds, the Midtown Market is expanding this weekend with more booths and vendors, and the general pace seems to be quickening. Straw hats are out, butterflies are abundant and the plants seem to be delivering quite nicely.
The farm at Hurley Way has been slower to change its pace and transition to Spring however. I will be spending most of my time at Hurley this year alongside Clara and a 1st year apprentice, growing mini lettuces, salad, arugula, basils, cilantro, mustards, radishes and a few other varieties that you will find in your CSA boxes and the farm stand. Because the soil has a heavier clay composition than the soil at the Ranch which is more sand based, the soil is retaining moisture for a lot longer from all of the heavy rains we received the last month. For the last three months Clara and I have been teased by the idea of starting to work the soil and starting to produce at the urban farm.
I have the serious itch to start farming- to finally put the seeds in the ground and see the farm take shape- the wait has been hard. While I never anticipated it, I have learned more patience this season than anything else. At this time last year I was just starting my training as a farmer and was learning what hard work really meant. I was learning lessons in time management and perseverance. This time around I am learning that as much as you plan your season- your crop plan, when you want to put things in the ground, your harvest schedule, etc- your farming experience is largely impacted by natural forces and the seasons themselves. Quite an appropriate lesson for a second year farmer I think 🙂
I am happy to report that after checking the soil moisture today, Clara and I have decided that we can start prepping the beds next week! Today I am feeling extremely grateful that the waiting has paid off and the space is ready to be farmed and worked with. We will mow all of the cover crop, rototill the beds using the cover crop as a green manure, add some compost to the beds, shape the rows, set up drip irrigation and will be ready to plant by the end of the month. I am appreciative of the lesson to let the soil and land speak to you- pushing the soil before it was ready could have been detrimental to the soil structure and more harmful in the long run. Being patient and working communally with the demands of the space (as hard as it was) means that the crops produced at the farm of Hurley Way will be strong and healthy (fingers crossed!).
Here’s to a good growing season at Hurley, kicking it off next week! I can’t wait to fill your boxes with the Hurley produce soon! Happy Spring : )