Another sign of spring this week. The garlic is starting to come up. It feels like it is earlier than last year, but I can’t find anywhere I recorded it then so hard to be sure. We put the wood chips on just a little lighter last fall so maybe that is making the difference, or maybe the warmer winter didn’t freeze the ground as hard, but whatever the reason they look good so far, one of the first real signs of spring in the field. With the beautiful weather in the field we may be tempted to plant some early greens, but last year the weather turned cold and our early seeding results weren’t great so we’ll have to decide. But it’s not too early to spread manure and start fieldwork so we’ll be busy regardless.
For this week’s behind the scenes, for those of you who saw us on Saturday at market, most of you didn’t get the story of us getting there. Like most weeks, our Saturday starts at 3:45 am so we have time for breakfast and loading the van in time for a 5 am departure. As has been the case lately, the van is quite full so loading takes a bit of creativity. But we did it. In great time too. At 4:45 we were all loaded and pulled the van out of the shop to fuel up in plenty of time for 5 am departure when our help arrived. We were all set to go a couple minutes past five, and the van decided that it didn’t want to start. We have been through too much of this before with this van, so we have accumulated a list of things to try. Twenty minutes with a booster pack, jumper cables, and a screwdriver across the terminals of the starter motor failed to produce results. Fortunately, we have a pickup truck and an enclosed trailer. So with four of us working, we managed to get everything loaded across to the trailer and the truck fuelled up shortly before 6 am with the trailer lights working mostly the way they should and were back somewhat on track if an hour later than planned. It was a hastier setup then usual, but we managed. And there were many things to be thankful for. 1). We still made it. Thankful we have a truck and trailer. 2). The van is at home. This is much cheaper and more convenient than getting it towed home. 3). We already are working on replacing the van. The new one is supposed to be ready sometime in May, but we haven’t heard any updates lately so we’ll know when it arrives I guess. 4). We leave enough time to survive the unexpected with some grace. Normally that is for loading taking longer than is expected, or weather, traffic, and construction delaying us, but whatever the reason, time helps. It had been just long enough since the last problems with the van that Nathan was starting to think he would miss it when the new van arrived, so this should help with that. For now if it isn’t easy to fix we’ll keep running with the truck and trailer. And we look forward to having a van that we don’t need a list of what to try when it doesn’t work.
CSA this week we have Lettuce, Spinach, Swiss chard, Kalepini, Carrots, and Radishes.
Today some of our extended family is gathering to celebrate Easter. And since we are still in the early stages of automating our greenhouse vents, we will be staying home to manage greenhouse vents. Doing a job that a computer could do better. We have more parts ordered to finish the job, so hopefully this is the last year missing celebrations to manage vents. But it is all a process, and there is a lot of work yet ahead of us to reach that goal. And much to be thankful for in how far we have come.
Well there is lots to do this week. Hopefully we can dig the last of the spring parsnips. The tractor we usually use for loosening them is currently at the tractor doctor for a smoking cessation program so we’ll have to see how this job goes without four wheel drive. It’s a beautiful week if the sheep decide to start lambing, and we’re all set up. But it is still extra work. And hopefully there is time to start spreading manure.
Until next week,
Nathan and Aleta Klassen