Youth Farm: Strawberries and Babies
Last week, my week started off with a text message that said, “come on over, we are in labor”. The next few hours was incredible, and a bit scary, but ulitmatley the closest thing I have ever seen to a miracle. I watched, and to a very small degree helped a baby come into the world. That was Monday.
Tuesday, was back to life with a farm, and straight to the green house. We planted lots of flowers and our first trays of broccoli, which makes me think of harvesting in the summer warmth. Up until now, most of the plants we have started in the greenhouse elicit a feeling of being in the cool, wet spring, chinese cabbage, mustards, lettuce, scallions. I welcome the arrival of little broccoli and peppers and tomatoes. The greenhouse rocks along of its own accord, with our help, becoming greener, bigger, and more beautiful everyday.
Wednesday it was back to manure hauling, and tractor work. Despite the age and weight of a 1954 Studebaker loaded down with manure (see last week’s post if you want more details), I do love driving it, and I do love seeing the field covered in manure. The tractor work brought the first tilled and ready planting beds of the year. And since three of us neighborhood farmers share the equipment, ferrying the tractor often involves giving each other a ride back to respective farms. This kind of time with fellow farmers, I so much enjoy as it allows for brainstorming and sharing ideas together. Really just talking with another person about what you both do and think about is awesome and wonderful.
Thursday, we put the new beds to use, planting our first strawberry plants, in what is often referred to as the “matted row” system. From what I can tell, the term “matted row” is a fancy way of saying strawberries need lots of space as they will spread out rapidly through the daughter plants, and fill a bed. Go daughter plants go! I read somewhere on the internet that you can try to place the daughter plants where you want them in the row, but they are like children and will go as they please. I smiled at that.
Soon, there will be peas, carrots, beets and spinach in the ground too. Spring life dances forward!