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New Year, New Seed

January 2, 2012

The new year is a clean slate, with promises made to ourselves and to one another. We are refreshed after a few weeks of holiday and family. If you can believe it, we even took some time off from farm work. The gap quickly filled with the making and crafting of gifts and food. However, now we are here, in 2012, and the seed catalogs are arriving in the mailbox. We return to our winter farm chores- planning our crops, searching for land to rent, and meeting new CSA members.

It’s January, and it is cold and dark outside. Even the grass seems to struggle in this weather. It may be that summer’s ripe tomatoes and  joining our CSA are the last things on your mind. It’s a huge help to us if you join now rather than later. We expect our first CSA pickup to happen at the end of May, but by then we’ll have been working hard for many months. In fact the work is already beginning. We’re building our own heat mats for our seedlings and putting together our seed order. Very soon we’ll start nursing baby plants indoors. We’ll begin with the cold-tolerant plants that can be transplanted into the soil early– broccoli, cabbage, spinach, and kale. Shortly after that, we’ll plant peppers and tomatoes, then melons and squash. We are eager for the season to begin. How funny, considering I was complaining about all the work last August. All that weeding and canning and sweating! You would think I would simply curl up with a cup of cocoa and read all winter– a human form of hibernation. Instead, I am eager for the work. Idleness does not come easily to me, despite my summer complaints. I think Harvey is a little better at relaxing than I am. We balance each other out that way.

Either way, relaxed or eager, the growing season is coming upon us quickly, so we are back at work planning. Reading these seed catalogs is an activity fit for the New Year. Every vegetable is pictured in its fullest potential– every seed germinates, every flower fruits, and there is not a weed or plant disease in sight. Right now, in the minds of many a farmer, this year’s garden will be perfect. It is a beautiful feeling worth basking in, because come July we’ll be fighting the endless battle of weeding. The seed catalogs tempt us with each variety description. Some of these vegetables have become old friends, like the Black Krim tomato and Jade green beans. We know how they grow, what conditions they prefer, and best of all, we know their flavors. Yet some varieties are new to us, like Deer Tongue Lettuce. Their heritage entices us with descriptions of rich and vital flavor. In all of these stories, there is a certain romance. These vegetables leap from their catalog pages and beg us to take part.

Please, let us know now if you are planning on joining Serious CSA and put down a small deposit to hold your place. Soon we’ll be working in the field, and winter will be a distant memory. Time flies. As always, feel free to contact us at seriousfarms@gmail.com or our Facebook page. Happy New Year to you all!

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