Each spring we return to our original garden in search of asparagus and memories.
When we first began farming on Snow's Bend, 8 years ago, our garden was in a small nook enclosed by trees on three sides. We chose this spot because the large tractors of the farmer leasing the land could not access it and therefore it had not been chemically fertilized or sprayed with harmful herbicides or pesticides.
Above: Margaret Ann in the original garden, October 2006.
It was just David and I back in those days. We lived on the farm in a cabin that was built 160 years ago, the definition of "rustic". The days were long and exhausting, but fulfilling and interesting as well. After 3 chemical-free years the entire farm was opened for production and we moved to a larger, sunnier spot. Things are much different these days, with employees that help out a great deal and also create another job in their management. It was much simplier back then but we are proud of how we have grown.
We don't have much reason to return to this garden except for this time of year, when the asparagus spears shoot up. Many years ago we planted several crowns, but not enough for anything other than enjoying ourselves. The only maintenance
done is a quick weed-eat just before they begin to come up. It is a delicious reason to return to our original garden and remember our roots.
We are thrilled to be the hosts for what promises to be a delicious and memorable event on October 12th. Outstanding in the Field is a group that organizes dinners on farms across the country and abroad. Everyone sits at their signature long table and each diner brings their own plate - a little piece of home - adding color and variety to the blank canvas of the white tablecloth.
Chef James Lewis of Bettola
in Birmingham will be preparing the meal.
Tickets go on sale March 20th.
For more information visit http://outstandinginthefield.com/
Meanwhile, we are trying to decide if it is spring or summer.
Spring always seems to sneak up on us and before we know it we are in the field full time with a never-ending list of tasks. So far, David has completed two successions of direct seedings of salad and cooking greens and root vegetables. The first planting germinated wonderfully and has been cultivated (hoed) once so far.
The overwintered garden is looking great. Strawberries, onions, garlic, and fava beans are in mulched beds with some flowering mustard, tatsoi, turnip greens, and arugula between them.
The first transplants were planted this week. They included kale, broccoli, lettuce, kohlrabi, bok choy, and more.
The greenhouse if full and everytime we transplant we also seed new flats that replace them. So, transplanting continues through May and into June.
This year is new and exciting because we get to also experience it through the eyes of our baby boy, Maxwell.
He LOVES the farm, but is quick to inform us of when we are working too much and not taking time to enjoy ourselves and the scenery.
This is where reliable employees come in. Currently we are taking applications, checking references, and conducting interviews. Anyone interested can find a job description and application by going to "Jobs" link in "About Snow's Bend".