Eventually the weather will turn in our favor. That's what I've been telling myself anyway. This winter and spring, the area has seen more moisture than a man taking a bath while in a hurricane! The old timers say they've never seen it this bad. Our corner of the state has been plagued by prolonged flooding and multiple landslides. The main highway in the area has been shut down for nearly a month due to a giant lake appearing on top of the road. I joke, but when we take the detour to town, it looks like we're driving to Key West! Farmers in the valley have already lost their entire crops due to the flooding. Yeah, it's been bad. There's some good to be found in the biblical moisture levels however. We should have a non-existent fire season, aquifers should be filled, we now have a large pond inhabited by a pair of ducks, and the runoff brings new nutrients into the soil.
The near constant moisture has had us chomping at the bit so to speak. Our garden needs to get started ASAP, but the ground is nothing but sludge still. On the drier days, we managed to get most of our orchard and ornamental trees in the ground. We splurged on trees: Pecan, Apple, Cherry, Maple, Almond, Oak, Witch Hazel, Birch, Spruce, Willow, Forsythia, Pine, and my favorite...a Giant Sequoia (in 500 years it will be a sight to see. I may not be around that long though).. We put a priority on getting trees in the ground since they take so long to mature. In some places we planted, the ground was so saturated with water that the hole would immediately fill in with water right after I removed a shovel full of dirt!
In the last few weeks we visited Quillisascut Farm in Rice, WA. Awesome place, awesome people. We showcased our microgreens for Chef David Blaine and the majority of Central Foods employees. They brought their restaurant staff up to visit Quillisascut Farm and cooked brick oven baked pizzas for lunch! It was a good time for all. The next week I returned, this time for the local Slow Food potluck. It was amazing tasting all the unique dishes and meeting all the locals.
I'll need to develop my taste for wine; I was the only person there drinking a beer which made me the knuckle-dragger of the group!
I'm impressed with our garlic. Being our first season growing it, there were plenty of unknowns. But, the large majority of the cloves have sprouted, made it thru the mulch, and are a nice dark green color. Right now they are about 5-6 inches tall. I think our two beds of Elephant garlic have a 100% sprout rate! Our two best growing varieties right now are Music and Siberian, but they're all doing wonderfully! Soon we'll pull the mulch back, do some weeding, apply some fertilizer, add our drip lines, and replace the mulch.
The entire last winter, there has been a bit of anxiety for our organic certification inspection. We weren't worried about HOW we were growing, but we were worried about missing some requirement. We had our organic certification inspection just last Wednesday. Fortunately, our inspector was down to earth. He took a solid look at our operation and focused on the important areas. The two big items organic inspectors look at are: Is your seed organic and are any of the amendments you add to your soil prohibited? Missteps in these areas could get you in some doo-doo. But our inspection was very straightforward and fairly quick. We should be getting our organic certificate very soon!
Next week begins our marathon microgreen growing schedule. The first day at the N.E.W Farmers Market is coming up on the 3rd of May. That means we will be starting to grow our batch of microgreens in just a few days from now. We'll be doing that twice a week at least until October. Here...we...go.
We've also been getting involved with the media just a little bit. We started advertising in the North Columbia Monthly, we'll be featured on the Farmer Veteran Coalition Facebook page, we just had an article done in the Chewelah Independent, and very soon we'll be in the New Pioneer Magazine, a quarterly national (!!!!!) publication covering everything homesteading. Exciting times!