It's about time! Spring has arrived....nearly to the exact day; 20 March 2017. The past week we've seen above freezing daily temperatures. On a few of those days, the sun was the only object in the sky. That did a number on the snow pack. There has been severe flooding all over the area due to the run off. Good thing we live on a mountain!
We found our first garlic shoot poking its head thru the mulch yesterday. It seems nature knows exactly when Spring starts. We were confident the garlic would do fine over the winter....but you never know for sure until you have that visual confirmation! Removing random sections of straw mulch from some of the beds revealed that all of our garlic varieties are growing just fine...even our softnecks. Putting in the effort to create raised beds was a very wise decision considering the amount of moisture we've had this winter. Our ground is at its water carrying capacity. Had we not created raised beds, our garlic would be underwater right now likely rotting. Hopefully, each garlic clove planted has enough energy to push up through the straw mulch to finally find some sun. We thought perhaps we would pull the mulch back to warm the soil quicker, but it's probably better to leave it in place. Garlic is a tough plant. It can punch through soil, mulch, and even 6 mil plastic. Most weeds will be smothered by the mulch. What we should have in another month is a bunch of beds with nothing but garlic plants showing. Around that time, I'll pull the mulch back and add some feather meal fertilizer to give the garlic the boost it needs for the spring. Then, if there aren't too many weeds that need cultivation, our drip tape will be installed and the mulch will be reapplied. So....the garlic is coming along perfectly!
We experimented with the silage tarp that we used for occultation on the garlic field. The snow just wasn't melting fast enough in our garden, so we thought we'd throw out the tarp with the black side up. Our hope was that the sun would hit it and melt the snow underneath. We put the tarp out for about a week or so and in that time we only had two days of sunshine. As the snow underneath melted, the tarp draped over last year's weed stalks that I didn't remove. Put some holes in the tarp it did! We ended up taking the tarp off today to thwart any more damage, but the melting of the snow was moderately effective as you can see in the photo. The tarp only covered half the garden. The other half still has about six inches of snow on it.
Farmers market season will be upon us in another month and a half. We're excited to get out there! We've received great support from the community regarding our microgreens; lots of interest. We're considering hitting another market in Chewelah periodically, but we may be overextending ourselves since we'll be at the Colville N.E.W. Farmers Market twice a week already. We purchased our first ad in North Columbia Monthly to help get the word out about who we are. That ad will be run from April-June to start with.
The BIG, giant, ginormous,YUUUGE news is that an editor from a major homesteading magazine is interested in our story. I'm currently writing an article for the magazine that I hope will be worth reading! There's also a strong possibility we'll be on the cover! Anyway, they're coming out to the farm in May to take some photos and eat all my salad greens. We'll throw some updates out there as they happen, but the actual article won't come out until sometime this summer. Super excited.