Elderflower Eruption

The elderberry bushes are now flowering outrageously. What a month ago resembled small florets of broccoli have developed into 6” wide umbels of creamy white bloom. These blooms will roll out in waves over the next month or so, transforming our humble field of bushes into an ever changing floral ocean. 

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Violets in Spring

Just as I was starting to think about preparing the lawn mower for its first run, the yard breaks out in purple. 

A thousand wild violets dot the lawn, welcoming the early bees.  I set the mower deck high and shave the grass above their heads.  Mowing so high means I’ll have to cut it again soon, but it’s worth it to let the flowers continue their bloom. 

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Spring Garlic

Spring brings some fleeting culinary pleasures such as rhubarb, asparagus, and violets. Among them we count spring garlic, which we have been enjoying these past few weeks. Their mild garlic flavor is a great accompaniment to meat or rich vegetarian entrees, or a nice addition to your morning omelet.

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Rare Catbird Sighting

I’ve never been much of a bird watcher. Birds are great and all, but I never put the effort into learning them beyond the common robin or chickadee.

It’s difficult; they’re small, far away, and move quickly. So it was with some excitement that I heard an unusual birdcall the other day.

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A Seat at the Local Foods Table

Last month I attended the 14th Annual Buy Local Foods Seminar, and I was excited to hear from their lineup of local food producers. It’s takes extra effort to seek out local products like these rather than just buy what’s sitting on the grocery store shelf. But in return for the effort you get food you know, with a story close to home.

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Rural Action

I recently completed Rural Action’s Whole Farm Planning and Mentoring program. What a fantastic experience! For eight weeks I got to hear first hand from experienced farmers and entrepreneurs.

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freezer veggies

Freeze and Thaw

The days have gotten warm enough that the ice on the edge of the pond is melting. Hurray!

Meanwhile, the freezer reveals that our supply of last year’s peppers is almost exhausted. Booo.

How did that happen?  We’re usually eating the last of the frozen tomatoes around March, but the peppers last until May. 

This is probably what comes of someone’s insistence that we don’t need to grow so many hot peppers.  It’s easy enough to eat up those sweet peppers with spaghetti dinners and liberally adding th…

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Pruning Time

Do you know how to prune an elderberry bush?  Me neither. Although I've grown elderberries for over a decade, I'm still relatively new at growing them on a large scale and managing them for production.

Despite not being certain as to the right approach,  I started pruning this week on a 50 degree February day, and I hope to finish within the next 10 days or so.

Some of our plantings are now old enough that they need to be pruned, so I’ve been looking at what the literature says and what other …

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