Groundhog Day

It was a distinctly overcast day at Avodah Farm yesterday, making it quite unlikely that any woodchucks (as we call groundhogs around here) saw their shadows. Spring has certainly started making itself known here, with all the snow dripping away as the daily highs are well above freezing. I hope we get some more snow, but I doubt we’ll see much more cold winter weather.

our mower and plow

We had fun and learned a lot this winter during our time spent in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, visiting friends and family and volunteering with Koinonia Partners. Since arriving back home it’s been seeds, seeds, seeds every day, often from 7am until 10:30pm. When Geoffrey and I aren’t figuring out what variety of carrot or cauliflower we’re ordering from which catalog, we’re helping Kathleen Plunkett-Black (my mother-in-law) edit and format her own little seed catalog, Plum Creek Seeds.

Geoffrey has been putting in long hours making sure all the fonts, underlining, italics and text boxes match. I’m the chief illustrator (by default, mostly, since I’m not a fantastic artist). This work is just the beginning of what we hope will be a long history of mutual aid and benefit between Avodah Farm and Plum Creek Seeds. Already we’re planning to grow at least thirty-two varieties of vegetables and herbs from seed that Kathleen has saved in her garden, and we will work closely with her this year to save seed from her Jenny Lind muskmelons, SMR-58 pickling cukes and Peachy Keen cherry tomatoes. This collection reflects the diversity of our saved seed—Jenny Lind is an old heirloom variety from the 1840s named for the soprano known as the “Swedish Nightingale”, SMR-58 is an open-pollinated strain developed by the University of Wisconsin in 1959 and Peachy Keen is a whole new variety we’re developing together, which is still in the process of getting “stabilized.” It’s challenging and exciting working together this way, and it will make our CSA offerings a little different from other farms.

Once the catalog goes to the printers, we’re looking forward to more time spent outdoors—cutting wood, finishing our cabin and greenhouse, putting in our garden fence and, of course, romping with our new dog, Molly. As soon as our seeds arrive it’s going to be time to start the onions and herbs growing in the greenhouse (most likely a friend’s greenhouse, since ours won’t be up and running for another month or so).



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