Last night, the chorus was deafening, even as the rain poured, the little amphibians sang on in exultation. It was so warm, we opened windows to sleep in cool breezes, and the wind is with us today, bringing warm southern air and moisture from the Pacific. Welcome El Nino, it’s a pleasure to enjoy such a mild winter this year again, though with more rain, thankfully. Nettle is up in the fields, and indian plum in leafing out, right on schedule. Welcome to The Pacific Northwest, where January signals the return of light and warmth to our landscape.
Winter rye is up in the field, and daffodil shoots are up, so are the tulip bulbs! All the bulbs are in fact, pushing up. In the valley, flowers are already in bloom, 200 feet below out ridge-line home. Where many might be worried about this warming trend, with mosquitoes already out on the prowl, I am thankful for the gentle weather so far.
There is flooding on the Snoqualmie River today with all this rain. Weiss Creek, which flows through this farm, is singing a loud rushing song with the frogs. The pond holds water, more than ever, and it’s staying longer now, starting to feel a place in the large bowl dug for water catchment. It is amazing to watch a place change in such a way; growth, diversity, and all done on a small scale, with great intension.
Working with the rhythms of mother nature’s adaptability, topsoil develops, tilth abounds, and the nutrient dense food we seek to cultivate here at Leafhopper Farm continues to grow.
This parsnip was harvested in January. It was a little pithy at the top, but still held the sweet flavors of fresh root harvest in the lower body. I added the parsnip to a lamb stew and it was great to have my own meat, along with FRESH from the garden veg in January! Recently dug up a few rouge carrots, which were also surprisingly sweet for a late winter harvest. I planted them in a spot where I’d put a portable two chicken pen in the garden for highly controlled insect culling in early winter. The result was a rich loam stirred up by scratching and pooping. I then deeply turned that soil, hoping the chicken gleaning had cleaned out unwanted insect eggs and the dreaded wireworms that can devastate any root crop harvest. Well, considering the size and health of the carrots, I think the plan worked!