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Early Spring! 2020

Posted 4/10/2020 6:58pm by Joe Gady.

Winter is largely done.

It's left at a good time... The unexpected home isolation of Covid-19 has brought an early start to the farm. 

Our cats supervise.

First up, chores!

- take down old growth from last year (we left it so the bugs had a home to overwinter). And weed.  


- honeybee hive check:
All three perished sometime in the last two weeks of winter... a hive autopsy left no discernable reasoning and grieving for us. Our local mentor lost 90% of his hives, and our cross country mentor lost all of hers. It's really tragic and frightening how fragile honeybees are now.  We will persist, because it's too important not to. We may blog about it too. (Below are pictures of what we found on the autopsy.)


- transplant-a-palooza: 
over 20 volunteer tree starts on our land have been scooped up and plugged in places we could use them.  Herbs and flowers moved about.

- ordering new seeds and planting stratified ones.

- rooting starts (elders, grapevine, weeping willows)

- starting new garden beds and growing tunnels

- blending in worm castings and plenty of biochar to all current beds

biochar raking in biochar and worm castings

- planting early spring greens: spinach, arugula, some lettuce

This. Is. A. Lot.

. . . a lot of doingness after a long rest. 

And we aren't alone. The trees are waking up, evidenced by sap rising and dripping out... have you noticed? It's sharp sweet smell wakes the nose.

All our saps are rising.

If we rested last winter, the energy we need to do more will naturally rise with the urge to do more.  We call it 'spring cleaning' in our culture.

We have support in following natural cycles that are bigger than us.

Some foods right now can nourish our energy 'rising'. 

Think bitter flavors, and greens! 

The bitter flavor moves the bile and digestive juices, and promotes the liver and gallbladder to free up it's condensed sluggishness of winter rest.  Slow moving bile = slow digestion = low energy.

Like a car parked for many months, at first the oil is thick, then as it warms and runs it turns to liquid and it's ready to drive!  Our bodies aren't that different coming out of winter into spring. 

Easy foods to support your spring energy rising:

- eat sorrel!
The bitter, lemony flavor is perfect for this season. It comes up early, so if you planted it last year, it's here now. A little goes a long way!  Add to other greens in sautees, soups, pesto and sauces.

Many of the edible wild greens this time of year are specific to clearing sluggishness in the body . . . some examples are dandelion leaf (traditionally thought to support the liver), blue violet flowers (lymphatics), young stinging nettle tips (lungs).  It's neat how nature provides what the body needs at the right timing. 


- eat a handful of dandelion greens sauteed, or in salads, soups, or added to eggs/quiche, or pesto!  (They sell dandy leaves at the store so you don't have to forage from your yard if you don't want to. If you use any chemicals on your yard, do not harvest from it.)

- steam up artichokes, and dress with whisked olive oil, salt, and generous lemon juice

- a squirt of 'digestive bitters' with each meal. 
Remember the old 'Swedish bitters' tonic recipe?  'Tis the season!   There are now modern recipes available.  We like Urban Moonshine (until we make our own.)

Thank you for enjoying our ferments, and following our work on the farm.

May you have good vitality, connection to those who love you, and comfort this holiday,

Meg and Joe