The dead season appears to be loosing its grip on Concord at last, though I’m sure that we will continue to stumble across dirty little piles of winter in hidden corners for awhile yet. Our greenhouses, oblivious to the still wintry landscape, are rapidly filling with a carpet of hopeful green: thousands and thousands of young plants coddled during the frigid nights by the near-constant hum of furnaces. Days are longer, the sun is higher, but the cold still lingers.
As of this writing, we have caught glimpses of our fields emerging from under the snow, cover crops flattened by the drifts yet bright green and ready to grow. We’re still holding out hope that we’ll be able to begin turning the soil in time to get our first scheduled plantings in the ground by mid-April, but there may well be some delay—I can imagine some cold, gray day in late April, the greenhouse growing crowded and unruly with leggy, pale transplants past their prime, increasingly desperate for some real soil in which to spread their roots. But nothing is sure, and a couple of sunny, warm days will go a long way toward putting the winter behind us and getting us back on track.
One of our first priorities as conditions allow will be to dig the beds of parsnips we left in the ground over the winter—I would hope to have them out by the third week in April. Those of you who have tasted overwintered parsnips know what a treat they are, with their caramel sweetness and tender texture. We’ll also be interested, as the snow recedes and allows us a glimpse, to see how our experiment in overwintering onions has fared. We may have picked the wrong year to attempt it, but if they survived, we may have fresh sweet onions as early as June.
Much more certain is that our garden plants will begin to appear on the porch sometime in the second half of April, and the bagged compost and potting soil we sell has already arrived and is available right now. This season, compost will be $8/bag or 4 bags for $30; potting soil will be $10/bag or 3 bags for $28. Make sure you check the bags carefully to be sure you’re getting the right thing—the compost and potting soil bags look quite similar. Our annual plant catalog listing most of the crops and varieties we offer as garden plants has been posted on our website.
We’re hoping you all survived the winter with your sanity mostly intact. We’re laying the groundwork for another season, starting seeds, putting together our new cast of indefatigable workers who will collaborate with us, with the soil, with the plants, to produce a pageant of produce (pardon the preponderance of p’s in the preceding) to convince us, once again, that winter’s woes are amply compensated for by the warmth, the colors, the smells, the flavors, the parade of changes that defines each season of growth.
Hope to see you all soon!