The winter can be dangerous with its stagnant state of farm activity. What ends up happening is I sit around in the office not being able to get any work done because of the wind, rain, cold temperatures and muddy fields. The result being I sit around setting into motion things that we will do as soon as the weather turns to spring, and I always forget how easy it is to overdo it. The result of these great ideas are coming back to haunt me now.
I remember in college when the end of the quarter would approach, and there were a handful of papers due with a stack of finals to prepare for and not nearly enough time for everything. There was this feeling that went along with that, similar to what is striking me now and if I learned anything in college, it was: all that can be done is to keep forward progress.
Everyone on the farm is glad that the fields are being worked, and new crops are getting placed into the ground. The winter lineup has been fun, but the new season is here, and the field and packing crews are ready to start harvesting and packing new things. The strawberries seem to be the next big thing. They are neatly arranged in their field at the feet of some of the oldest oak trees on the farm.
The stone fruit mix of apricots, peaches and nectarines have completed their beautiful show of flowering. The weather was perfect for fruit set, and there is no reason to believe it will be anything but a great stone fruit year. The tiny apricots can already be seen. They are green little specks about the size of a BB pellet. It will not be long until the irrigation of this orchard begins.
This time of year it is easy to feel overwhelmed, but the truth is that I am glad the plants are doing most of the work. I have no idea what goes on when a strawberry plant flowers, what the grape canes do to push out new growth, how the asparagus turns last summer’s energy from the sun into shoots this spring. I am really relieved that those plants have that all figured out and that they are on time and predictable.