Spring isn’t here (ask the people in the NE!), but we are gearing up!

Daylight hours are edging closer and closer to the Equinox: a significant time of year when day time tips past the 12 hour half-way mark.  This is when everything happens really, really fast!  OK, I’m jumping the gun a bit (the Equinox is exactly 6 weeks away), but I can feel the changes really start to happen now.

It starts with the sunset.  It’s later.  You’ve probably noticed this, even without assistance from the artificially-effected daylight savings leap ahead.  At about this time every year, I wonder when the chickens are going to snap out of their winter slump and begin laying eggs in full force.  I’ll keep you posted on this.  Still waiting.

Another hint at the spring coming is the presence of skunks.  They come out of their dens and smell up the air looking for food.  They usually look near me because I have an endless supply of live chickens to stalk.

A third item around our house signalling the coming growing time are the seed catalogs!  Dozens of them strewn out on tables, highlighted, starred, dog-eared, etc.  We are making selections, writing spreadsheets of varieties, numbers of seeds and how much space they will take up, when to plant them and like.  We are hoping for a better result or at least one not worse than last year.

It is almost cruel.  Every year you try to discipline yourself not to make the same over-ambitious choices from years past, but you cannot resist the idea of a utopia filled with perfectly ripened fruit hanging delicately but firmly on an impeccably sturdy stem, unblemished from insects or wind or hail; luscious green leaves somehow planted systematically on a weekly schedule, perfectly sown, unanimously germinated, diligently cultivated, timeously irrigated, effortlessly harvested, cleaned, bagged, and sold straight to you without a glitch; and fruit crops that are bountiful on the first year you plant them and forever after without a glimmer of mismanagement, human error, or need of pesticide (organic or not).  It is a magical time when farmers think they can do everything right.  A hopeful time that gives you another chance to improve and capture the perfect year.  It is quite nice while it lasts.

Hope to see you tomorrow at the bakery.  Eggs, as you may have guessed are short.  Chickens are long.  Don’t forget we have chicken feet for sale too, which are an unbelievable thickening and enriching element to any soup, stock, or sauce.

We are continuing to take CSA memberships.  We will likely cut the number off at 50 members this year.  Please sign up as soon as you are ready.  The CSA Fair is this Sunday from 1-4 at Mercer Aquatic Center.  It is a good chance to look at all the CSA’s operating in the area.  Please come!


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About saltforkfarms

A small organic farm in Iowa that raises Standard Breed laying hens and hybrid broiler chickens suited for a pasture-based system, as well as varieties of vegetables and fruit suitable to our Eastern Iowa climate. We grow food, we eat food, we sell food!
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