Spring is coming: After a very gray, cold and drippy past few months, and an unexpected hailstorm that whitened the ground this past weekend, we are greeting the arrival of March with extra enthusiasm this year as we hope it will bring the beginnings of spring-like weather with the first official day of spring just around the corner!
The first daffodils, primulas and crocuses are blooming, and some of the plum and cherry trees are beginning to bud, soon to grace us with both their cheery blossoms and beautiful fragrance. We have even seen a few bumblebees visiting the early-blooming rhododendrons.
We’ve been spending more and more time out of doors, as are our resident animals—the chickens are busy daily scratching for bugs in their outdoor enclosure and the ‘girls’ and the donkey are starting to shed their thick winter undercoats in favor of a sleek new look.
We are eagerly awaiting spring as the gardens begin to awaken from their winter slumber: Seeds are just starting to grow in the hoophouse; the new pea and kale starts have already emerged from the soil, as have the onion sets and leeks. Later this month the spring peas and onions will be planted outdoors under row covers, and we hope to begin harvesting our first crops of flavorful baby spring greens from the hoop house by the end of the month.
Up next in our Classes on the Farm series, March will bring an exciting foursome of workshops to Bella Luna as professional cheesemaker Megan McKenna will guide us in The Art of Butter-Making (March 8th and 29th) and in crafting cheese at home with the Fresh Cheeses & Artisan Cheese-Making (March 8th) and Crème Fraiche, Mascarpone & Ricotta (March 29th) classes. Come experience the farm, partake in McKenna’s delightful instruction and then share in the fruits of our labor together over a light meal. A few spots remain—get your tickets!
Plans for spring are also accelerating in the gardens we care for away from the farm; our gardening and landscaping company, Parterre, has been busy planning and pruning for our clients across the Puget Sound. Spring is a busy time as we design and prepare to install both food and ornamental gardens, and also incorporate edibles into existing landscapes. Creating visual interest by combining year round seasonal color—think: vibrant blooms and foliage along with varied textures of ornamentals—with edibles such as blueberries, tree fruits, savory herbs and even edible flowers can give a garden a four-season appeal—and food for the table! Every tree, shrub and stone is thoughtfully hand-selected and each garden we design is a unique and personal creation for our clients—it is so gratifying to see each one come to life in the spring and summer!
As the days continue to lengthen and the sun warms us both body and soul as we work the soil, we look forward to saying good-bye to winter and hello to spring and all the fresh and bright flavors it provides. To spring—and happy gardening !