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Almost an Ish

I very nearly invoked the "ish" part of this newsletter's title this week.  It's been a bit of a jumbled mess, between the usual early spring farm rush, a fair bit of snow, some excess heat, finding/visiting a new dentist (congrats, and happy retirement, Dr. Easterday!), and family Easter activities.  Additionally, I really think we kind of over-delivered on the last two Weeklyish, with six new recipes and a lot of other content in just two weeks, so perhaps I had a little bit of extra credit stocked up.

But, we've been on a pretty good roll, and I didn't want to break the cycle.  So, just a bit of news this week!

Order Deadlines

Delivery Option     Deadline
Home delivery | Thursday     Tuesday, 10pm*
Pickup @ Culver Farmers' Market | Saturday     Thursday, 10pm
*Sourdough orders for delivery require an additional 24 hours
Shop Now

April Fools!

From a production standpoint, the biggest news/struggle is, as ever, the weather.  Indiana Spring played a cruel April Fools' joke on us, dumping enough snow that we would have been excited in early December.  But, on April 1?  A decidedly less welcome sight to wake up to.

Most of the garden fared pretty well, without too much damage.  The one surprising thing is the peas.  Our early peas were off to such a great start I didn't prepare a "just-in-case" later planting.  Once things get going with peas, timing of successions is fairly easy: I start the next planting just as the current one starts to flower.  That way, we keep a fairly constant supply of snow and sugar snap peas for an extended season.

But, the first is always a bit problematic.  Depending on the weather, it may germinate and establish quickly.  Or it may sit in the ground for months before you give up.  Then, the day after you replant, boing!, up pop those peas.  So, I usually start a backup planting shortly after the first one emerges.  They often end up overlapping their production, so we have a couple of weeks of more peas than we can pick, but just as often, one or the other (or both) get set back by the weather and produces much less.

This year, that first planting was looking really good, and there were just a couple of somewhat cold days in the extended forecast.  So, I was (over)confident they'd be fine.  Alas, we got 12 degrees colder than forecast, and the peas took the brunt of it.  And we don't have any just about to pop out to replace them.  Looks like a late start to pea season this year!  Hopefully the heat will hold off and we can still have good mid- and late-season peas!

Thankfully, the lettuce, carrots, and radishes in the high tunnel are doing fine, and the Nebuka scallions outside continue to thrive.  I planned a bit less early spring production since we really over-did it last year, so not as much was at risk this year (but, with the added weeks of the Culver Winter Farmers' Market, that may have been a mistake...).

The forecast looks good now, though, as we hit the real marathon of planting season.  So we're off to the races.  Next day of rest: October.


In other weather-related news, and I'm probably jinxing us by saying this, it looks like we may have had the opposite luck with the apricots this year! 

We had bud break on April 2nd, about 12 hours after the late cold had passed!  They are opening now, with favorable temperatures forecast far enough out that they should be able to complete pollination. 

I'm not saying we'll definitely have Apricots this year.  They are always a risky thing to attempt here, right on the edge of their hardiness.  But, if you speak with the folks at the Purdue Climate Change Research Center or check out the Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment, it does look like we'll have an increased number of successful fruiting years (though also an increased chance of tree death...) over the next 25+ years.  As we push our farm into more long-term perennial crop production, we have to plan for the changes we'll face over at least the next 25 years, which will be peak production time for many of the trees and shrubs we're planting now.  And, though we won't likely be around to see it in 50 years, we are planning our farm's production and impacts in the 50-75 year time frame, and beyond.  We hope to have a functioning succession plan to allow the farm to continue indefinitely, beyond our time as stewards here.  So: Apricots.  Because they are delicious.

Frog Update

I haven't had an opportunity to get back out into the swamp with a camera to make another attempt at a frog portrait yet, so I'll recycle.  This one is growing on me, though...

Anyway, despite the lack of opportunities to hunt for them and the quirks of the weather, we have enjoyed monitoring their progress through listening to their calls.  The populations definitely seem lower this year, but the warmer weather of the last couple of nights, and a bit of additional moisture in our swampy woods has brought a few more, and brought them closer to the house.

We've noticed two additional species joining the chorus this week.  I'm still a bit of a novice at identifying frog calls, so I hope to verify these with a visual spotting, as well as checking to see if this is a reasonable time for them to be calling.  But, I'm pretty sure the one that sounds like a woodpecker with a gurgley  tummy is a Northern Leopard Frog.  The one that sounds like a chicken scratching for grubs might be a Wood Frog.  But the recording doesn't quite match what I'm hearing.  Perhaps I should get out there with a field recorder, too...

Lots of beautiful weather this week (though we need some rain).  Get out there and enjoy Actual Spring!

Order Deadlines

Delivery Option     Deadline
Home delivery | Thursday     Tuesday, 10pm*
Pickup @ Culver Farmers' Market | Saturday     Thursday, 10pm
*Sourdough orders for delivery require an additional 24 hours
Shop Now
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