As we stand on the brink between winter and spring, things are beginning to wake up on the farm! It’s my first season tending this garden and there are many delightful surprises that spring has to offer: From bulbs—pushing through the soil out of their winter hiding places, ready to meet the sun—to the nearly constant hum of hummingbirds and bees, or the watchful hawks that sit on the fence posts (hopefully looking for gophers), and the breathtaking beauty of a golden sunset reflected on the bay and filtering through the eucalyptus trees, spring is full of wonderful surprises. Of course, some surprises are less fun—like the houdini chicken who keeps escaping the coop or the flocks of little birds that will eat the cover crop down to the ground if left uncovered. Still, the fun and delightful surprises far out-weigh the others.
With the crop planning and seed ordering behind me, the next phase of the season is all about preparing the soil and planting. When I’m not harvesting the fall-planted kale, chard, and chicories and winter-sown radishes and turnips for the newly reopened kitchen, I’m working hard to mow down cover crop, clear beds, get the soil tested and just generally prepare the beds for their first seedings! The greenhouse is filling up quickly with our first successions of lettuces and baby fennel, as well as lots of flowers that will find their way into bouquets throughout the season!
As much as I have been enjoying the glorious weather here on the bay, I hope winter doesn’t leave us too early this year. We need the winter rains to fill up the lakes, ponds, rivers, and springs that make growing food possible. With more rain in the forecast, the wheels of spring slowly beginning to turn, and the restaurant back open for outdoor dining, I am excited for everything this new season will bring and the bounty of fresh foods and flowers I will get to share with you all!
If you want more updates on what’s going on in the garden, you can watch as the season unfolds on Instagram: @nickscovecroft!