Happy Good Friday!

It’s a beautiful time of year… and this weekend is a time for new beginnings and celebrating life.

Ask many old-timers around here and they knew the frost was going to be late… the belief is that it’s okay to plant your warmer season crops after Good Friday. Some did not heed this advice and had to spend many hours covering young tomato and pepper plants till the wee hours of the night! Many survived… thankfully! We’re still waiting for the other lovely part of the spring: Blackberry Winter. Our blackberries are telling us there may be another cold spell, but only time will tell. Clearly Mother Nature is having fun with us again this year, but that’s fine…  we’re having fun learning ways to operate around her.

Our high tunnel is in full production mode with several rows of beautiful tomato plants as well as a rows of peas, radishes and the last remaining carrots. The low tunnels (despite the aggravation in dealing with them) housed a few rows of lettuces, beets, spinach and radishes. While some things have already been picked or didn’t produce like we thought they would, some of the vegetables are coming along nicely. Some other vegetables are coming up outside on their own as well: dinosaur/Lacinato kale (sweet in flavor) and young collards are ready now while the cabbage, broccoli, Vates kale (also fairly sweet) and a few others are coming in a little later.

I think it’s just nice to have vegetables and fruit to pick again. Did I mention we have STRAWBERRIES?? Finally! Our first crop of the year was picked this morning before the rain really started coming down.  This means, before we know it, we’ll start our production of jams, jellies and preserves for the year (hello, strawberry margarita jam)!

Our first official crop of asparagus has begun as well. There are tons of sites with great info on asparagus, but this one was pretty interesting: http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/health_blog/5_powerful_health_benefits_of_asparagus_you_probably_didn_t_know. I think I may have learned too much about certain “effects” of asparagus, but that’s quite alright… now I can say I know.

It’s fascinating learning about the different things we have planted around the farm, and getting started with all the changes for the future. We’ve done well in continuing our Naturally Grown/Sustainable method of farming. We’ve only used organic methods for fertilizing, growing and spraying. We recently started spraying our peach trees with kaolin clay. It’s natural, OMRI listed and is quite entertaining to use. We had lunch at the local country store today and some of our family members walked in. As we were talking about using this new stuff (Surround is the name), our cousin proceeded to tell us about a bumble bee that flew in his office yesterday that was solid white! Kaolin clay is white and, even when mixed with water and sprayed on the trees, it remains white on the trees. Needless to say, Dad and I are both solid white as is the tractor. Definitely a unique look… and luckily it’s good for the skin. And we’re in the beginning stages of putting up a deer fence at my grandparent’s property on McBride Rd. Goodbye you pesky animals! It was great feeding you all these years (if there was a sarcasm font… it would have been used on that sentence). Come Monday morning, that’s going to be the big project for the week!

I hope everyone is enjoying this Good Friday and has a beautiful Easter! Enjoy the true meaning and spending time with family and friends this weekend. I know I will.

Happy Easter from us here at Minter’s Farm!

Stephanie