After our first full week of clear skies and warmer temperatures the farm has jumped into full swing. The long wait is over and with soils finally drying outdoor seeding and transplanting has begun in earnest. This week we seeded carrots, beets, radishes and mustards and transplanted broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radicchio, chard and summer squash as well as our field of potatoes. Coming up next week we will transplant new successions of lettuce and spinach and begin seeding more summer crops like cucumbers and beans. It’s a busy and at times stressful season but spring is also a time of so much amazing potential! Every seed sown or plant pushed down into the earth has the potential to grow and thrive and feed people. It never gets old. Growing food is a challenging and yet oh-so-rewarding adventure.
We have welcomed our first two interns to the farm. In late February, Stephanie who moved here from New Jersey/NYC joined us. Stephanie received her BA in Literature and Art History and recently traveled throughout Greece and Cyprus. In a total change of pace she then decided to follow a long-held interest to learn more about sustainable small-scale agriculture and had found herself here on Vashon. We are so excited to have her with us! In this last month Stephanie has proven herself a valuable asset to our farm crew. She is a fast learner and detail-orientated with an eye for order and presentation.
Tina arrived in mid March after finishing a yearlong internship with St. Johns Creamery in Monroe, Washington. There she had her first experience working on a farm and learned the ins and outs of a small-scale goat dairy. Growing up in Las Vegas, Tina always had a love for the natural world. As she became aware of social justice and food insecurity issues she made the decision to become a farmer. She hopes one day to have a community-based educational farm and plans to spend the next few years learning all she can about various growing styles and practices. We are thrilled to have her here and appreciate her enthusiasm for learning and her kind and thoughtful manner. Our summer intern, John, will arrive in mid May.
Pacific Crest students have been busy on the farm as well! Throughout the winter and spring, Elementary groups have joined us for many projects. Most recently we have seeded in the greenhouse and potted up strawberries for the plant sale, cleared apple orchards of blackberry, hauled fallen branches to the burn pile and pruned back our strawberry patch. They love helping with animal chores and collecting eggs!
Middle School students returned to the farm in March and began working on a restoration site. Each farm group has been assigned a 20-foot section of the upper pond to revitalize. Each site is overgrown with blackberry but each also has some amount of native plants to preserve. Invasive removal has begun and groups are also considering what native plants they want to plant and where they will go as well as any structures or habitat enhancements they would like to develop. Their work will be visible in the pond area behind the stage at the Spring Celebration. They have also begun work on a pizza oven! The oven is being built at the outdoor kitchen. Another place to check out during the May party.
Last week and this week we welcome our Primary classes to the farm for springtime exploration. What a fun group! The primary students always bring such a sweet excitement and enthusiasm for discovering the farm. They have plenty of questions about the animals and people on the farm and many were very ready to be assigned farm work!
Just this past weekend we hosted our first work party of the season. Thank you to all the families who were able to come out and help on the farm! We had groups help clean greenhouse plastic as well as weed the edges of the greenhouses. We weeded out our garlic and strawberry crops and prepared the carport for painting. We look forward to hosting the entire Pacific Crest Community at our annual Spring Celebration in just two weeks! We’ll have newly arrived baby piglets to meet! We hope to see you here!