As we greet the month of April here at the farm, spring seems to be in full swing! As we are busy both indoors during the drippy days, and then outdoors during those glorious sun breaks, there are lots of developments to share:
In the orchard, we have just finished the last of the winter pruning as the orchard is beginning to wake up. Just in time, too, as a new resident is about to move in and join our budding fruit trees—the mason orchard bees! Our friends Dave and Beth Richards of Woodinville’s Johnny Applebees LLC will install their specialized orchard mason bee houses in sunny, south-facing spots here at the farm to help with crop pollination. Mason orchard bees nest in reeds and natural holes, hence the design of their handmade cedar “houses” which are filled with natural reed tubes. These busy, non-stinging native bees are considered nature’s super-pollinators and as such are a very welcome addition to the farm. They also help us in that they are able to do their pollinating work early in the season in the cooler temperatures that honeybees are unable to fly in.
We have also been busy dividing last summer’s dahlia tubers, getting them ready for planting next month. We have already planted peony crowns and lilies in the cut flower field by the hoophouse. We are very excited to see last year’s perennials popping up, and are hoping for an exceptional cut flower season ahead!
Spring is also starting in the vegetable garden, where we have been both pulling weeds and adding compost, planting onions and leek starts as well as hardy lettuces, kale and peas, with hundreds of seeds going into flats in the hoophouse for starts to be ready for planting later in the month. The herbs continue to grow in the walled garden, kissing the air with the savory scent of thyme, parsley and chives, and the Shiro plum tree that graces the east wall is about to burst into bloom—hopefully the weather will cooperate for a good crop of juicy golden fruit this summer!
Here’s to a bountiful and beautiful spring!