New Season, New Life

By Russ Cerocke, Farm Manager

I realize that I’m preaching to the choir here, but Spring is such a wondrous time of year. Each spring brings something new to love and this year is certainly no exception! So, what is it about spring that makes us feel this way? Maybe the orchids, puccoon, or wood betony that grace our prairie with their presence every spring, or the pheasant back and wine cap mushrooms that pair so naturally well with freshly picked asparagus? Or, is it the smell of fresh vegetation reaching towards the sun, filling the air with volatile compounds that enliven the wild children within us all? I don’t know, it’s probably all of the above and then some, but what I do know is that this spring, we are all feeling the energy of the season on the farm and we can’t wait to share it with you!

For this farmer though, this spring has been an awakening of life beyond that which I have ever experienced before. Why? Because this spring, for the first time, my wife Melissa and I brought a new life of our own into this world. Carya Dolores was born on April 10, potato planting day, which means she will forever be our little potato! Our daughter Carya is named after a princess in Greek mythology whom the trees known as hickory, walnut, and pecan were also named after. In this myth, when Carya’s sisters tried to hide her from the adoring eyes of Dionysus, he became angry. As a punishment for interfering, Dionysus turned Carya into a walnut tree as a reminder that humans have no business meddling in the matters of the gods. Now, our little Carya seems more active, and is certainly louder than any walnut tree I’ve ever known. But, like the walnut and hickory trees she shares her name with, she is filled with a brilliant energy, strength, and longevity that we hope she will use to nurture the life around her for many years to come.

Outside of all the happy feelings and babies, there’s plenty more going on here too, like satisfying farm work! We have all been hard at work getting ready for the season. Our plant sale crops look amazing as they wait patiently to be welcomed into new homes this week. Last week, we prepared several thousand feet of bed space for our warm season crops to be planted in. In the coming weeks they will be filled with tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, winter squash, summer squash, and cucumbers, what a feast! After these plantings, we will have tucked in 2/3 of the crops we will grow this season. It looks like we all get a long nap in early June! Well, not so fast. First, we will have to pick some serviceberries!

Overall things are looking up, potatoes are growing, onions and peas are glowing green, and our brassicas are sizing up and showing beautiful green and purple contrasts against the earthy browns of the leaf mulch that protects them. Growing healthy food, healthy families, and a healthy environment all starts with you, so thank you for caring enough to be involved. We can’t do anything alone, but together anything is possible! Happy Spring folks, we can’t wait to see you around this season!

~Farmer Russ


Like this article? Share it!

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Winter Chloride Watchers Training Registration

Training Date(Required)
Which training session would you like to attend?
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.