Hi, July! The Latest News and Notes from Farm & Larder and Bella Luna Farms

Whew: Those last few days of record-breaking heat to end June have (thankfully!) transitioned into more normal summer temperatures this week as we gladly welcome the month of July. Everything seems to be in full summer bloom here at the farm, bursting to life in vibrant color, and keeping us busy watering, weeding, and harvesting from dawn to dusk.

The bold and beautiful tiger lilies that grow near the house have just begun to bloom, and during the warm afternoons, the goats are often spotted resting and ruminating in the sunshine. (They keep this up until the evening hours when things start to look a little livelier out there when fresh hay for dinner arrives in the barn.)

Summer chores continue in the gardens, where we marvel at the growth of the beans, peas and cucumbers that climb their trellises by inches each day. Apples, plums and pears are developing on the trees and the Montmorency pie cherries will be harvested this week! We also are eagerly anticipating the first crop of fresh, juicy Tulameen raspberries that are just now starting to ripen. Some of these tart-sweet berries will be destined for a summer fruit crisp or for snacking, but a good portion are always set aside to use in our favorite fresh raspberry jam.

The honey bees are also loving the pleasant afternoons and buzz busily amongst the many varieties of blossoms, working hard collecting pollen and nectar; the blackberry flowers are a special favorite for them, being one of the honeybee’s main food sources here in the Pacific Northwest.

As life inches more towards normalcy, weddings are again taking place and we have also begun to plan to host classes and workshops here at the farm once again. To help with this, we are looking to add a few special staffers to help us rejuvenate our lineup of classes and to help maintain the two-acre cut flower garden next to our hoophouse we planted last year. Here, we grow many of our favorite flowers such as dahlias, phlox, cosmos, sunflowers and more. (If you or someone you know would be a great fit to join our team, please reach out to us! Full details will be posted soon on our websites as well.)

We hope you enjoyed a safe and happy 4th of July, and that we see you here (in person!) again soon in the coming months!

Hello, June! The Latest News from Farm & Larder and Bella Luna Farms

From the baby birds leaving their nests to the abundance of beautiful blooms, it sure feels like summer is near!

We have spent lots of time in the garden over the last few months and now the arrival of June means the summer crops are planted and the first of their shoots are popping up out of the soil. The lettuces and other greens are all thriving, in addition to the Romano beans inching their way up the trellises (tempting the pesky rabbits!) and the fragrant herbs growing in the Walled Garden. Over a thousand dahlias and other perennials have gone into our cutting field for summer color and future flower arrangements.

Warm weather plants such as tomatoes and peppers are ready to go in the hoop house, with the eggplant and summer squash starts to follow. We’ve begun checking the strawberries to see if any are ripening, but we will have to be patient as those look to still be a week or so out. In the meantime, we will enjoy the peonies and sweet peas as they start their vibrant season as well as the first flush of English roses in bloom.

Around the rest of Bella Luna, the animals are enjoying a ‘spa day’ to brush out the last of their thick winter undercoats, and the donkey (aka Stinky) will get a much needed bath! Dave and Beth Richards of JohnnyAppleBeez will soon come to retrieve their orchard mason bee houses from the garden, which will be filled with the cocoons of baby bees; the Richards will help these bees become next year’s crop pollinators.

Enjoy this most pleasant start to June and we hope you and yours continue to be well as summer approaches!

Hello, May! The Latest News from Farm & Larder and Bella Luna Farms

April’s beautiful sunny days have brought a lush beauty to Bella Luna as spring has well arrived here at the farm. The weather of late has really jump-started our ‘to-do’ list, keeping us busy dawn to dusk trying to get ahead of the weeds that now seem to pop up overnight!

The apple, cherry, and pear trees along with the blueberry bushes are abloom in both the orchard and the garden where Woodinville’s Johnny Applebees LLC recently installed specialized orchard mason bee houses to aid pollination and good fruit production. We are harvesting asparagus and herbs galore from the main vegetable plot, and the raspberries there are about to bloom as well. We are also planting peas, carrots, lettuces, beets, leeks and onions. Beans, cucumbers, and summer squashes are about to be seeded in the greenhouse to be planted out later in early June when the soil is warmer. (It seems it’s time to secure the gates to the vegetable gardens so we don’t have any furry guests nibbling tender new shoots!)

When it is sunny out, the ‘girls’ venture out to enjoy the lush green pasture, where they also like to stretch their heads over the fence to nibble on any brambles they can reach, and then take a break to lie down in the tall grass. The twin lambs born last month always bring a smile to our faces, with their cute antics and darling little faces. We are also once again treated to the chorus of frogs at night, so loud we can hear them indoors—a most welcome symphony after the long winter months for all of us.

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