Spring is always an exciting time for farmers. After winter planning, it is time for field work and planting and hoping that Mother Nature is working in your favor. This season has presented a new challenge for many, though; the Avian Flu. Our county has been one of the many across the Midwest that has been affected by this devastating virus. It is a concern not only for the large chicken farms in our area, but for all chicken owners, including us. At this time of year, our chickens would normally be frolicking out on lush, green grass, but for now, we are limiting their frolick time and hoping that the upcoming warm, dry weather helps the bird flu fade away. I know that I would be devastated if we lost all or our birds and though we raise our chickens very differently, my heartfelt sympathy goes out to all of the farms that are faced with such a loss right now on a much, much larger scale than ours. Although it is still early spring, there are plenty of weeds and trimmings from our high tunnel greens to feed to our hens and it is the green stuff that makes those yolks so deep orange and delicious!
Greens in the high tunnel, ready for spring share boxes. The white fabric covers the beds at night to protect tomatoes and peppers from cold nights.
After the cold, dark winter finally faded, we had some delicious spinach and other greens that sprung to life in the high tunnel as well as those pesky weeds. The trimmings and weeds are loved by our hens!
For much of the spring we have been very happy to be delivering cold-sweetened spinach to The Black Sheep Restaurant in Whitewater and the Edgewater Supper Club in Jefferson. We also look forward to putting some tasty spring carrots back on the shelves at the Health Nut in Watertown, Rivers Edge Market Jefferson and Fresh and Green Market in Oconomowoc! The Farmer’s market in Fort will be starting up next weekend and although we probably won’t be at the first one, we hope to be there soon!
As the winter greens have been harvested and removed, we have been planting for our spring shares; spinach, salad greens, sautéing greens, radishes, salad turnips, Chinese cabbages, onions and much more. As we harvest those greens in the next few weeks, we will be making way for the tomatoes and peppers that are already fighting for space. We’re hoping that soon the nighttime temps stay above freezing and we can stop covering and start trellising them! My favorite tomatoes are planted in there and I can’t wait!
The next few several months will be continuous planting for summer and fall shares. We still have room for more members and hope that you will join us for the summer season of certified organic sweet corn, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, beans, peas, carrots, beets, squash and so much more!