From the Fields: Poised to Plant, Yet Holding Steady
This post written by our resident field steward, Emily Thomson
After a couple of weeks of tempestuous weather things have settled down a bit. Although temperatures still dip toward freezing at night, daytime temperatures are warmer than normal for February. Day breaks ever-so-slightly earlier each morning and stretches until half past five, and the quality of light seems different. Daylight Savings Time begins in less than a month!
Still, things are about as quiet as they get here on the farm. Most of the Griffin Creek farm rests beneath an emerald cover crop of rye and vetch. Crews are working about three days a week harvesting and packing, and projects are at a minimum. Last week, though, we erected a 450-foot hoop house for our leek starts, which we’ll hold off on planting until mid-March, as we did last year.
We are one of the few farms to grow the Makah Ozette potato, a true Northwest heirloom which has been brought back from near-oblivion over the past 5 years beginning with a cooperative effort between Slow Food Seattle, the Makah Nation, USDA, Seattle Chefs’ Collaborative and our own Andrew Stout. We are in our sixth year of production and, as seed can be difficult to obtain, we’re happy to report that 3500 pounds are set aside for us in Colorado for shipment in May.
December plantings of bok choy, Russian kale, spinach and radish are ready to harvest, while we also bring in the last of our summer-planted Brussels’ sprouts, parsnips and celeriac. Our warehouse is still packed ceiling-high with winter roots and potatoes, and farm sales remain brisk. Because we planted smarter and farmed better, we are in much better shape than at this time last year.
Most of our equipment has been through the shop for maintenance at this point. Tractors and implements are lined up and ready for spring; we resist the urge to plant because we know we’ve not yet seen the last of winter. Tell that to the frogs who are beginning to peep around the valley in the evening!