Sunday, March 21, 2010

Edible Pea Shoots and Turning Under Cover Crops

This week we started bringing some spring fare into the farm stand in the form of pea shoots that are found scattered throughout the cover cropped fields. Nothing brings in a nice bit of spring color like a pink/purple flowering pea vine (except maybe a strawberry). This crop had a duel function for the farm as a nutrient enriching ingredient of the cover crop mix, but also a harvest-able and edible crop during the meager days of spring transition. Edible raw or cooked, these are a beautiful option for spring salads or stir frys.

The first of the cover crops have now been disked in. The fields have had a moderate chance to dry out and we are jumping on the opportunity to get some of the green manure/cover crops (made up of a mix of peas, vetch, beans and grasses) chopped down and cut under the soil with the disk attachment on the tractor. This is the first step towards spring planted crops. After a few days of letting the green material settle in and break down, beds can be formed and transplanting can begin (rain complicates things-keeps your fingers crossed). The first activity this spring will occur in the southeast farm field, near where the chiles were last season.

Here is that little section between the farm stand and the notorious cardoon plants. I'm uncertain of the fate of the cardoon from this point on, but I am hopeful that this little section of the farm could be my personal palette for some cut flower growing trials this season. It is nice to have a side project when you are in charge of operating the farm stand and this spot on the farm is ideally situated. Additionally, it its right in front of the parking area and ought to provide a beautiful show if covered in flowers when people pull in day after day. We shall see. Also in the works are ideas and planning for a Children's Garden area this season. I know this would be well used by many of our regular visitors and will do all I am able to bring the idea to fruition.

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