Well, what a wet winter and early spring we have been experiencing on the west coast. Like many of you we are so grateful for all the moisture and snow pack we are seeing in the mountains, and also thankful that we are not experiencing the flooding that our farming neighbors to the south have had to deal with. However, with the good comes bad and with continual wet weather, our fields are super wet, which means we can’t be working in the fields. So much about farming is doing the right thing at the right time, and sometimes the timeline shifts based on factors outside of our control. As farmers we adapt, and prepare for when we may be able to get started planting and harvesting and catching up on all the weeding in our perennial crops.
One way we continue to provide our customers with the herbs they want is by creating covered propagation space in greenhouses so we can start our seeds earlier in the year. Even though we are seeing freezing temps almost nightly, lots of rain and way more than our normal valley floor snowfall this year we are right on schedule with our greenhouse calendar. In order to accommodate all our seedlings this year we have been busy putting up two additional propagation houses. Building projects are always fun in bad weather but we are happy to say we have an additional 5,760 sq. ft. now to accommodate our spring planting needs. It’s a good thing too, because we have already filled one of the new propagation greenhouses and are halfway towards filling the second!
So far this season we have planted more than 2 million seeds and still have more to go. Herb seed is often difficult to germinate so we have to make sure we plant plenty of extra seed to get the starts we need to meet our customer’s needs. By early June if all goes according to plan we should have transplanted out more than 1.1 million starts into the field from our greenhouses and will have about the same number of plants that are perennial crops already in the ground or that will be direct seeded into the field.
Needless to say it’s an exciting time of year. Seeds are germinating. Baby plants are growing. Dormant perennials are breaking the surface of the soil starting to waken for another season. We always love seeing life unfold on the farm. One of our biggest jobs is to be observers. Observing the plants, the weather, the insects, the birds, the soil. Endless observations that lay way to many of the decisions we make as farmers. Doing the right thing at the right time isn’t just based on a date, but learning to read the subtle signs of nature. These are things farmers talk about amongst ourselves. How we’ve come to read the patterns of when to plant, when to harvest and when to just wait.