Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bring on the light

Happy solstice! Always a good feeling to know we're on the "right" side when the days are turning longer. As with most farmer types I know, we generally acknowledge this to be mid-winter even though ofiicially it has only just begun. In about six weeks, we'll be back full force seeding in the prop house and getting ground ready to plant as it dries out enough to work.

Time to kick back now and rest if you can. I'm working on chores around the farm right now. Flood damage repair and lots of clean up and organizing. One project always leads to another. Feels good. I guess getting more organized will be one of my resolutions. Regardless it gives me something to do right now during the down time. Too much time sett'n round taint no good.

Thinking about farm plans and cruising seed catalogs. Always looking for something new and fun to grow. We'll be placing orders soon. This is a good time to reserve your potato seed and strawberry slips. We have a pretty good reserve of seed on hand. Probably don't need to order too much. That's a good thing for sure. First order will be for tomatoes. I promise I'll cut back my selection every year but I never seem to be able to. I know my favorites though. We do sell plant starts in the spring so I have a nice selection for that but there's really about 12 varieties that work for me. I do want to grow more romas this year as I have been using them to make my own tomato paste. It's the most wonderful stuff I've ever tasted. Tomatoes are my totem vegetable. I like to wait til late Feb and into early March to start mine. You get a happier, better timed plant. We normally can't put toms out until the end of May and having a big ol leggy plant by then is not really what you're looking for. I do know of one farm in Skagit that plants toms the day after Christmas. They normally have ripe toms on the vine in May! Very impressive and very high input operation. I prefer to grow within the natural season. It just makes more sense to me. I only eat them when the're in season except for the ones I put up. There is no going back to crappy store bought toms after you've had the best.

Sometimes I do sow salad greens at christmas if I have the space. You can wait and sow later and still wind up with the same harvest date. We shoot for March 1st but normally it's not till mid March before our first cut.

Still have some bulbs to get in the ground. Daffodils, garlic and shallots. It's getting later than optimal but probably OK. This is the first time I've done daffs so I'm not really sure.

Happy Holidays to all,

Farmer John

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