It’s a Leek!

Leeks have sprouted and thus begins a new season! It isn’t quite like a birth of a baby in a family. Now that is a thought – what are the differences between Allium ampeloprasums and Homo sapiens? After a leek seed sprouts it takes in the necessary nutrients until it is harvested; it is more or less on autopilot, fulfilling it’s genetic place on this planet. Now a “wise man”, at the other end of the spectrum, may begin that way, but something happens fairly soon after the body is upright and is able to traipse around. In our “wisdom” we think it is normal to consume more than our needs. Would it not be a surprise to wake up one morning to find a group of leeks commandeering the whole tray for themselves? Maybe we need to eat our humble pie and learn from the stalwart leek how to live in a global community.

The high tunnel on plot 3 is planted out into greens, onions and carrots. It will move onto plot 4 to thaw out the soil sometime in March, depending on the weather. We expanded to having a spring share in May this year and hope to impress all the new members! Excitement along with a healthy amount of trepidation is my take for what the future holds in store.

The plantings under the quick hoops are frozen to the ground. Is there life under there?

Our front yard has taken on a new look with the removal of 4 large trees. With open space we hope to plant trees and shrubs that provide fruit as well as trying out a “three sisters garden” with corn, beans and squash growing in a lush profusion. A soil test indicated that there is adequate nutrition for something food worthy, so why not? It would be a good thing to have a neglected lawn mower. The challenge is to plan for beauty. At the moment it looks like devastation hit, but given time, the beholder – you! – might give us some thoughts.

Please take note that our summer shares have a reduced price until the end of February. We need to plan now what to plant for summer harvests. For those interested, download the registration form.

Tilting sunnyside

The dawn’s painting of sunrise is always a glorious beginning for another day of life! I am noticing light sliding in around my curtains earlier and encouraging me to start the day at a reasonable hour. I have a most difficult time believing it is “day” when I can’t tell if my eyes are open or closed! I blame it on my internal clock from childhood when day was from 6 to 6 year around and night filled the other hours.

With lengthening days come plans for the new year’s harvests. We have a few more seeds to order. Soon, we begin making soil blocks for seeding leeks. Kenebec potatoes are available for sale; our 2012 seed stock will come from the spuds remaining.

Fresh salad greens continue to bring gusto to our meals! Imagine! Winter squash, carrots and sweet potatoes add the fragrant interlude when brought out of storage and prepared for a meal. I tried out a baked winter vegetable dish last night topped by a cornmeal and sunflower seed crust with a hint of rosemary. It was tasty but a little tweaking should make it into a recipe worth sharing.

A new plant this year, will be sunflowers, the variety Tarahumara, which came over with the Russian Mennonites. Mountain Lake’s history is intertwined with “knack zoat” or sunflower seeds. I can see a field of golden yellow sentinels facing sunward, creating an “a-ha” moment in passing.

Spring CSA shares begin in May, as a new addition to the calendar, and should be paid for before the end of January, if possible. The harvest selection is noted on the registration form. There are also Sweet Fields bread shares to be chosen from our new cafe/bakery in town.

We three farmers continue to meld our farming ideas, organize the accounting into a logical system, study the seeds and plants we hope to get nose to nose with and repair and prepare all things for the start of the season. Hope you can join us!