The (outdoor) planting begins

A warmer than usual March has led into a warm April so things around here are hopping. Looking at the trees and plants makes me think that we’re about 2 to 3 weeks ahead of schedule with the spring. We had our first meal of ramps last weekend and they were already plenty large, by this weekend they may be too big. Ramps are a wild leek which grows in the woods around this area, they are delicious. I even heard of someone finding a few morels already, which would be record early for them. The blossoms are just about to open on our fruit trees, and I picked our first meal of asparagus today.

Will all this warm weather translate into the first shares coming earlier than normal? It really depends. All the plantings for the shares are scheduled out so that they meet up with each other to fill the boxes with a nice variety of items, we can’t simply start planting it all earlier or things won’t sync up the way they’re supposed to and I’ll end up with one or two things that are ready to harvest in the field instead of 6 or 8. What it should do for sure is bring about more variety earlier in the season and limit some of the ‘lettuce every time, all the time’ early boxes.

Warm weather aside we could really use some nice gentle spring rains. Since I put the rain gauge back outside on March 10th we’ve only had 1.87 inches of rain. That probably puts us a good 4 or 5 inches below normal. So it was that today after seeding the first peas and spinach, I found myself having to turn on the irrigation for the first time this year. It’s pretty dry when I have to irrigate in April.

The dry weather has put us ahead of the game a bit for now. We got all the potatoes planted the last couple of days which is the earliest I’ve ever put them in. Today we got 2/3 of the onions in with the rest on deck for tomorrow. Getting the big jobs of the onions and potatoes out of the way is a wonderful start to the season. It’s tempting to put the first round of lettuce in this week as well. It and many things in the greenhouse are getting a little bit big for their britches.

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