According to the kitchen calendar, the first day of spring has arrived. The chorus of birds each dawn, starting down along the creek then spreading up through our meadows, is proof that they too trust this date to be so. Robins, finches, juncos, towhees, sparrow, chickadees, a meadowlark and already thrumming blue grouse add to the choir. And geese along the river. Yet as I look out to the back garden and orchard, all remains white – a solid, crusted white with more snow coming down. As “they” say… “go figure.”
One can predict that lack for moisture we shall not! Thinking back 6 months to the soaking fall we had, and now the slow-to-leave snow pack, I’m guessing the soil profile is set to be very damp for some time to come. Foolish as it is to predict a farming season, I wager this year’s will begin late. Most years we can begin some field work either side of April 1. This year I believe it will be closer to mid-April, even if the weather turns warm and dry like the previous two springs.
Other noticeable signs that spring isn’t far off are the very occasional windy afternoons, and bluebirds! We’ve seen both western bluebirds and the shockingly blue mountain bluebirds, whose wonderful blue is made all the brighter against the snowy hills. Our new little friend, Danner, helped me clean out our boxes just this past weekend. We’d seen what I presumed to be last years adults or possibly the babes that were raised here, checking out the very box a family was successful in last year.
Kevin has been doing a great job in the cleaning/milling line here at the Bluebird granary. We had a pretty heavy month of orders this last, and freight issues remained in place as our road didn’t melt off until about a week ago. Although trucks aren’t coming down to the granary quite yet, we’re only having to run pallets up to the top of our drive. Big advantage to be sure.
Once things dry out we’ll be able to move the rest of last years crop up to the granary from our field storage site. This way we can run all our seed stock as we begin to prep for planting. I’m hopeful that we can begin to line up our fertility program soon and that by the time the next “letter” goes out, we will be rolling in the fields?!?
Another thing we look forward to: The wild and crazy spring here in the Methow, where the flush of wildflowers promises to be glorious given all the moisture. Freshets will be bubbling along and the wind should be perfect for soaring hawks and the occasional wayward snow-squall as winter truly wanes.
Here’s to a healthy and rejuvenating spring!
Yours, Farmer Sam