You’ve probably had days when your alarm rings in the morning and you just can’t get out of bed. So you hit the snooze button once. Then again. And maybe even a third time.
This year it felt like our farm woke up from its winter slumber back in February, and then hit the snooze button. And kept hitting it. Until this week.
Our farm is not normally a quiet, peaceful place. It’s a bustling hub of often frenetic activity. But for most of April, if we had a soundtrack, it would have been *crickets* and the quiet sound of gentle rain.
In some ways, it was similar to last April: cool and wet. Last week, for example, our crew went home at noon on two days. People were grumbling about how little work there was to do. But unlike last year, when our fields were mostly empty thanks to the wet winter that prevented us from planting, our fields are full of crops this year. They just weren’t growing.
Well, that all changed over the weekend with the warm weather. By Monday morning, we were started work already behind schedule. We’re still trying to get caught up.
It might be hard to understand how just a few days can make such a difference, so I’ll give you a few examples:
Asparagus grows more quickly when it’s warm. Last week we harvested the asparagus field twice. This week, we are harvesting it every day. Instead of growing 2 inches or so per day, it is growing 6 inches every 24 hours!
Our first Tomatoes were planted back in early March, and really hadn’t hardly grown at all since. Over the weekend, they grew at least a foot, and since Monday have grown another 6 inches. That said, they are much still much smaller than they normally would be for the end of April.
Table grapes waited to push their new buds until early April this year, which successfully avoiding several several cold snaps in March that would have damaged them. But like the tomatoes, they barely grew at all for the first half of the month. Over the weekend, the shoots grew a foot or more and are now showing the first signs of the inflorescence that will eventually become fruit.
But there is one example that is right there in your boxes to see this week: the Spring Onions, which literally doubled in size in just a few days. Yes, the onions in your boxes today are from the same field as the ones you got last week. Within 2 weeks, we will be preparing to harvest them for onion bulbs.
There is one crop that hit the snooze button though…the Peas. They have been a very frustrating crop for us this spring, as the plants are huge and covered with pods. Unfortunately, they still just don’t seem to want to ripen. But once they do, we will have lots.
With our long winter rest period over, we’ll be racing to keep up around here for the next 8 months or so. Instead of crickets, it’ll be the rumble of tractor engines, the clickety-clack of sprinklers spinning, and the chatter of our crew as they harvest and tend the fields. The only thing that won’t be getting much use at Terra Firma will be…the snooze button.