Spring has sprung!

Technically, spring is still a few weeks away (the vernal equinox is March 20 this year), but around here, spring has sprung!  (And it has been incredibly spring-like for much of the last month or so – that’s coastal California for you.)  While we’re still having some frosty mornings, the days are warm enough to wear shorts and tank tops, the daffodils are blooming,

daffodils IMG_8549

and – my main indicator of spring – the wild plum trees have just started to bloom in the last few days!

plum IMG_8555

The air is filled with the sweet scents of acacia and plum blossoms, and the honeybees are buzzing like crazy, LOVING the warm weather and the plum, acacia, and almond blooms.

bees IMG_8541

I’ve already direct-sown seed for peas, radishes, carrots, turnips, kohlrabi, arugula, cress, beets, cilantro, mâche, salsify, and a couple of lettuces, and have starts going in the greenhouse for peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, okra, shiso, basil, nasturtium, mina lobata,  kale, cabbage, bok choy, parsley, and tomatillos.

veg starts IMG_8558

Onion and leek starts (purchased from Dixondale Farms) were put in the ground way back in December, and are growing well.  Volunteer seedlings of arugula have been going for awhile (we’ve even harvested some already) and volunteers of breadseed poppies and chamomile have also started popping up.  So exciting!

On the to-do list for the next couple of weeks (as soon as possible, really, to help prevent swarming):  the bottom super or two of each of the beehives need to be moved up, and the frames checkerboarded (more on this when I get around to doing these tasks).

Major goals for this year:  be better about succession planting (planting several small, successive crops of various fast-growing veggies, like lettuces and beets and the like, in order to ensure a continuous supply rather than one huge crop that I can’t use fast enough before it starts going to seed) – this is something I mean to do every year, but never remember to do; keep a log of seeding and planting dates (this should help me with the succession planting), harvest quantities, and notes on the different varietals I’ve planted; get my fall/winter garden started earlier; and reduce the amount of required inputs to the farm that must be purchased by doing more seed saving and seeking out free compostables (I’ve already got good sources for horse manure and coffee grounds, but would like to make connections with a grocery store or restaurant for veggie scraps to give the chickens).  I also have several smaller goals/projects in mind, one of which is to convert my front yard into a productive space.  I’ve clearly got a lot to work on this year!

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