Wishetwurra Farm, First Day of Spring, 2016

Today is the first day of spring. So what’s the weather forecast? Snow. Two to eight inches of snow are forecast for tonight and tomorrow. We shall see. Whatever comes will melt and be gone within a day or few.

We are back on the farm after being away for over a month. Wishetwurra Farm’s spring 2016 came today, Sunday the 20th in the wee hours.

The days are at last longer than the nights. Tomorrow’s daylight time will be two minutes and forty-eight seconds longer than today.

Spring already came to inside of the little greenhouse. Chickweed was threatening a complete takeover, but an hour’s weeding brought it under control.


As soon as the sun comes out, it gets warm in here. Sometime it’s even hot. We’ve got: mache, spinach, kale, chard, parsley, arugula, and more, all basking in the warmth and growing like it’s next month. In the next week or so we’ll fill in the blank spaces with more greens. Soon to come will be flats of seedlings. By early May it will be crowded in here.

Let’s take a look outside, from the usual perch on the Goat Barn roof.


The garden as we left it, in early February.


The north of the garden as of today. The “north” section you see here is now weeded. Mulch has been raked away to expose the soil. For grins and for experiment, we planted a row of pease and a row of fava beans in between the rows of the asparagus patch. We’ll report back in a few months with with the outcome.

The “southern” part of the garden still needs weeding. Lots of weeding. That black stripe near the far fence is a layer of charcoal from this year’s brush pile burn.


The charcoal has been put on a bed that’s getting soil improvement work. Under the charcoal are layers of leaves and manure. Yet to come are more layers—more manure, compost, maybe some sand, maybe still more layers of organic material. If I’m feeling energetic, have the time, and if the tiller starts, I may mix it all together. Otherwise I’ll just keep adding stuff until it feels like time to plant something.

Here’s a ground-level view of all that charcoal. Maybe I should call it by its new eco-name, “bio-char”. (It’s still charcoal!)


The lusty green sprouts in the foreground are perennial white oriental scallions.

We’ve been digging leeks, which survived well under their thick blanket of eelgrass.


In late winter and early spring, happiness is digging up a mess of leeks.

One long-term project in the garden is encouraging “good” weeds. We’ve been letting mache (corn salad), claytonia (miners’ lettuce) ,and other greens go to seed, and each year scatter the seeds about. This year about a third of our “weeds” are these greens. More than we can possibly eat.


Volunteer mache.

The mache is very nice in salads, or as a salad all by itself.


To harvest, you just pinch together the plant and cut near the base with a knife or scissors. These were cut by a young grandson, who of course liked using a knife.


It’s still early in the season. Much of this year’s garden is still in seed packets, or has just been started indoors.


Future tomatoes of Wishetwurra Farm, Class of 2016.

Out in the yard, the aconites have gone by. The snowdrops are almost done. Crocus open to receive light and honeybees whenever temperature and sun permit. Windflower anemones peek out of the leaves surrounding the oak tree trunks.

The first daffodils are blooming.


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