How can I not talk about the weather, because friends, what a winter that was. I hope you are all doing ok and spared from major damage. Our farm proved to be fairly resilient, with no plants or trees lost to the deluge. All the mulch and compost we added to the orchard paid off. So many of our neighbors were not so lucky. Just a short mile from our house, College road flooded 3 times, forcing my neighbors to erect walls of sand bags and sweep mud and water out of their homes. In a moment of levity, folks were even catching fish in the streets, huge invasive carp washed out of over-flowing nearby lakes.
Mostly, my heart goes out to the nearby town of Pajaro, where a levee broke and inundated 1000 homes of farm workers, the people least able to mitigate such damage. If you have the wherewithal, please consider donating to help this community recover. This local women’s group is disbursing funds raised directly to affected families.
Rose Field Opening on May 5th!
Now the roses, the roses loved all this rain. Roots grew deep, absorbing nutrients and energy for this year of blooms. The bushes are flushing full of new growth and buds.
We are opening the rose field for you pick on May 5th, and we will be taking reservations on Friday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm, and on Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm. May is the best time, and Mother's Day weekend will be busy!
Roses for sale
I also ordered an additional 300+ own-root roses over the winter to sell as potted plants this spring, so the greenhouse is packed as well. Some varieties we have for sale include Bliss Parfuma (pictured below), Earth Angel, American Magic, Heirloom, Beverly Eleganza, Fiji, Peter Mayle, Elle, Michelangelo, Princess Charlene de Monaco, and many more!
Roses are available for sale at the farm all season. Sorry, no shipping available.
By the way, if you are looking for a mother's day gift, or any kind of gift, we offer gift cards that can be redeemed for any fruit, flowers or merchandise we offer for sale in our online store.
Open Orchard Day - April 30th
To celebrate a return to Spring, we are having an open orchard day on Sunday, April 30th, from 11 am to 3 pm. All local friends are welcome to come go for a walk in the orchard and flower field. Some of the trees will be in bloom and the rose field should be starting to pop. No RSVP needed, just show up and come join us :) If you have any questions, please write me and let me know.
Spring Orchard and Garden Tasks
With great rains, comes impressive weeds, and the weeding seems endless this spring. At the same time, the weather is quickly warming up, and so it’s also time to turn on all the irrigation, check for leaks, sigh at the number of leaks, and start fixing them.
Fertilization, pest control and fruit thinning are the other main orchard jobs this time of year. I will be holding a spring orchard maintenance workshop next month. More details to come in the next newsletter.
We got a little unexpected weeding help from these three ducks who showed up, stuck around a few days, and then moved on. Thanks duckies!
Watch, Listen, Learn, Dream
I was often frustrated this winter with weather so bad I could not work outdoors. On the other hand, I think I read and watched more media in a few months than I have in years. Here are a few gems I want to recommend.
Regenerative Farming around the World
We watched this short documentary called Into the Soil about a regenerative farm in Sweden and were so very moved. There’s so much wealth in this beautiful world that does not involve money. Be inspired:
Along similar lines, I also deeply enjoyed this series of three short films about a regenerative farm in Italy.
Soil is Life - Part 1
Soil is Life - Part 2
Soil is Life - Part 3
Pastoral Song by James Rebanks
This delightful book follows the story of a traditional English farm, modernized in the 60s and 70s, and then returned to traditional and regenerative agricultural.
Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer
You may know Robin Kimmerer from reading Braiding Sweetgrass, which I also recommend. Gathering Moss is her previous book, and is about moss, but also about the incredible diversity and resilience of one our smallest life forms. Reading this book made me look at everything very closely and new again.
Valemon the Bear
Saving the best for last, Valemon is a modern myth, a story told verbally with video, text and images, and also a commentary on the power of myth. It's a meta-myth, if you will, from Emergence Magazine which I unabashedly adore.