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Spring Shimmers - Diane Einsiedler

Updated: Feb 28

March is a month of incredible change on the farm. As the earth tilts towards the sun, the lengthening days and warming soils shimmer with the potential of the season ahead. It is the last period of organized calm before life erupts into a season of growth. By the start of April, our pregnant cows will be ready to give birth. In the greenhouse, our propagation tables, now empty, will be packed with trays of seedlings.  Bulbs buried last fall will be pushing their sprouts toward the sky.  All of the planning over the last few months- the spreadsheets, meetings, cleaning, organizing, ordering -  come alive at the beckoning of nature’s calendar.

Once the first cow is in labor our calving window has begun, with around-the-clock checks and constant care for the newborns. As the snow melts and the first flush of pasture thickens we start our of intensive rotational grazing, letting the chickens out onto fresh grass and rotating our cow herd through the pastures at a nearly daily speed, a rhythm determined by the weather. As soon as the soil has warmed and the danger of frost has passed, we will transplant our first seedlings outdoors, continuing to plant, water, cultivate, and harvest from the fields until the next frost occurs, likely sometime in October, or September, or even November. Nature will decide, putting to rest our annual plantings and ushering in the next cycle, starting with planting tulip bulbs before the year’s end. 

By the end of March, we will see signs of the 5,000 tulip bulbs planted in the market garden last November. Their green shoots will push through the six inches of dirt that held them all winter, accelerating toward blooming in shades of gold, coral and violet. Their vibrant hues are a welcome sight after the muted monochrome of the winter months, reminding the soul that summer is whispering around the corner: the valley blanketed in green, the air sparkling with sun and heat, periwinkle evenings stretching into the night. 

Tulip harvest always straddles the transition from winter to spring and is part of the year that I treasure the most. Often the first few days are still rooted in the cold of winter, with the occasional last snow flurry gracing the tops of the tulips. By the time we are bunching the last bouquets for our Tulip CSA members in May, trees have leafed out in an electrifying flourish. People behave similarly, coming out of winter hibernation to greet the light and gather for social events. We love hearing about our tulips gracing the table at impromptu dinner parties, being handed to friends, and simply gracing your kitchen counter, bringing a bit of the shimmering spring into your home. 

Tulip CSA shares are still available! We expect the CSA to start at the end of April and will run for 3 consecutive weeks.


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