It’s been a chilly and wet spring. That could be the understatement of the year. The spring bulbs have finally flowered and the grass is growing so fast we may need to bale it. Our sour cherry and pear trees are in blossom, as are the redbud and our beautiful magnolia, but the soil temperatures are still low and the garden is too wet to get much tilling or planting done. Such is life: every season has its challenges. It’s a blessing to have the small hoop houses that give spring crops a boost. Our strawberries are thriving and in bloom, and we’ve started some seedlings in Hoop #1. They’re small, but with the chilly weather, no need to be long and leggy just yet.
We were able to take advantage of the slow spring to take a short trip to the east coast to visit family, and came home to find some nice salad greens popping up in another of our little hoop houses. Coupled with fresh seafood that we bought and iced from the day boats just before we left Connecticut, we’ve enjoyed some delicious meals this week! We have wonderful fresh lake pan fish here in Indiana, but fresh seafood is a great treat.
Something – we suspect a large dog – got into the chicken yard just before we returned an killed or ran off with 20 of our 30 free range laying hens. Sigh. Generally our little dog, Diamond, keeps theses predators away from the birds, but she wasn’t home either. We’re thankful the meat birds were penned up and didn’t get molested. They’re nearing maturity, and we expect to have frozen broilers available in June at our store.
Our asparagus crop is coming back to life. We need a lot of good sunshine now to get it really producing. Lots of requests are coming in and we can’t keep up. An envelope of cilantro seeds I tossed into the hoop house last winter has produced a lively crop. Potatoes and peas are finally starting to show their leaves from our early April planting, and of course, fall-planted garlic is going strong.
This year our sorghum crop was very good, and we’re marketing this local sugar across the region. We also had a nice production of maple syrup, and several bee colonies made it through the winter this year. That’s very sweet! So we’re looking forward to the warmer weather, new summer honey, and fresh crops from the garden that we can share with you. Our farm store will be open on Fridays only, but our specialty products are available through the DeCamp Gardens farm store in Albion every day.
DID YOU KNOW? Here at Old Loon Farm, we provide a place for our lake resident neighbors to dispose of their leaves, seaweed and other plant matter. Burning leaves, or worse, raking them into the lake, is a huge pollution problem for our air and water resources. Composting creates new, organic-rich soil on the farm, and helps our neighbors too. We are glad to be of service, and happy that our neighbors care about our beautiful lakes. Everyone can farm!