The Open Gate Farm
April 11, 2009
Saturday on the Farm
Dear Friends of the Farm:
Spring has finally found hope springing up in the gardens here at The Open Gate Farm. We have, in just this last week, seen the apricot bloom it’s tiny blooms along the branches and the fruitless plums by our bedroom window burst forth in their songs of joy. Elaine’s flowers are finally bringing bright color to the corners of our yard. Yellow, purple, pink…refreshing and encouraging. Vegetables are up and Spring is busting out all over and we’re only 3 weeks late, based on when the forsythia bloomed last year!
In the food department, the rhubarb has little wrinkled leaves and short stalks so tender it seems a strong breeze might break them. The lettuce under glass in the cold frame is at that age of temptation. That is to say, we fight hard the temptation to pick some for our first home grown salad of the year. If we can just hold out for another week or two, one head will feed two of us, rather than two heads feeding only one person! It’s not easy!
And the beets are up! Their little wispy heads are all in a row, green leaves opening to the sky and sun…and rain and frost too…and ready some summer day to become baked and roasted and bbq’d and pickled and just generally enjoyed. Red, white, and gold…it’s going to be a good year for beets it seems.
So this Easter weekend, we have been hard at it in the garden. A bit of weeding, a lot of rototilling, and then the careful transplanting of more lettuce, while the fennel, basil, tomatoes, and all those beautiful plants which will lead to luscious lunches all summer await their turn.
We got the fence up around the garden today too. One chicken did sneak through the gate and when chased, ran to where last year’s hole was. When it was not there, then she really panicked! But slipping through a gap, she raced off to tell the sisters there is no hope of getting any more worms from those lovely rototilled rows. We fixed the gap.
On days like this though, there are always times we pause and look at the impossible long rows to be weeded and wonder, “Why are we doing this? This is crazy! All this shoveling and digging and hauling and sweating and aching all for a head of lettuce we can get up at the store? We must be out of our minds!”.
So we take a break and go lift the glass off the first lettuces we transplanted several weeks ago. The Ark butterheads are already reaching broad hands across their aisles, shaking hands with each other and shading out any weeds. The Capitan is pointing long fingers in every direction, while the Merlot has a most brilliant green at the base of its leaves, hiding behind the deep and luscious burgundy ruffles that bring visual substance to a Springtime salad. But also there is a glow to them. A glow of health, of happiness, of the sheer joy of being alive in this place and at this time.
A glow we look forward to putting on your plates in the summer to come. And a glow you will see on the faces of your family when you put produce from The Open Gate Farm in front of them for dinner.
Have a blessed Easter and remember, we all have so much for which to be grateful!
Jon and Elaine and Snickers the mellow farm dog, Mystery the thoughtful cat, Jerry and Harley and the girls from the egg factory, and of course, Chai, DD, Quackers, and Cheese the mud hustling ducks
The Open Gate Farm
269 Russell Road,
Camano Island, WA 98282
Officially closed for the season except by appointment! But May is just around the corner! - We have lots of eggs available if you do want to pop by now!
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