Sunday, May 12, 2013

Spring Dances at Restoration Farm

And, so it begins again.   It is the start of my fifth season at Restoration Farm.  What once seemed like a tentative experiment is now a way of life.  

As a novice member, I simply picked up my vegetables.  Eventually, I would help with harvesting and seeding.   These days I even grow some things on my own. Welcome to the evolution of my solidarity with the soil.  
Opening Day at the Farm is a Mother’s Day weekend tradition.  New and longtime members alike are invited to tour the farm. A plant sale encourages us to try our hand at a little backyard farming.   This year, I purchase Swiss chard, kale, basil, parsley and two kinds of lettuce, which I will plant in a little patch in my yard.   I’ve learned just enough about farming to be dangerous. 
Head Grower Dan Holmes leads us into the fields.  A patch of stubborn rain has just passed hours earlier and it is a glorious day.  Dan takes us past the rows of spring vegetables and into the upper fields.    Everywhere, there are luscious green shoots opening up and reaching for the sun.  
Dan seems to revel in sharing stories of the farm – and his philosophy on sustainability – with members.  
His wife, Head Grower Caroline Fanning has a touch of laryngitis.  They’ve been working extra hours to assure that the farm looks superb for its spring debut.  

“This is the best the farm will look all season,” says Caroline, only half-jokingly.

Indeed, Restoration Farm is a stunning patchwork quilt of green and freshly tilled earth.  It’s like coming home again.   I can’t quite recall when it’s looked so lovely. The freshness of spring at the farm is a tonic for the soul.
We travel across the farm passing laying hens and meat birds.
At Apple Trace, the eight heirloom apple trees pruned in March are now covered with new leaves.   I think it will be a year of  solid growth for those trees.

The sight of the old red Garlic Barn always makes me feel like I’ve journeyed back in time. 
Shortly on the way are the strawberries, the bright green plants covered with white blossoms.  This year – with the help of my new preserving skills – there will be strawberry jam to enjoy. 
If winter was a season of anticipation, spring is that giddy, playful moment where life begins to dance at Restoration Farm.  The dance is a gig – arms open wide, energetic and vivacious – and you simply can’t help but join in.         
©2013 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved    


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

We spent the morning in your glorious part of the world today. Next time I would love to visit Restoration Farm.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

I can't get over how green everything is. Spring has really come to Long Island. I'm not much of a gardener, although I was a Master Gardener at one time. But we should have listened to the Cherokees when they say don't plant here before the last frost, which means don't plant before May 15. Saturday we planted several tomatoes and some basil, just to get started. Would you believe 32 degrees Sunday night and tonight 39? Why don't we listen?

Looking forward to more visits to the farm as it gets into full swing.

Kat said...

So nice to see the Farm green and lush. All the photos are just lovely. We have been slow to plant this year, it is chilly here and we had a late frost or two, and my garden area is too wet to till. But things are changing fast, and hopefully, we will have plants in the ground by the end of the week. After today, in is all 80's. I think it is time.

Coffee and Crumpets said...

What lovely pictures of the farm. It's so nice to see it lush and green and life beginning to bloom. Colorado is very slow to get going this year and we are just beginning to warm up. I can't wait until our farms and gardens look like your photos.


Barbara said...

How wonderful! Spring at Restoration Farm. I love these posts and isn't it fine to see all the green sprouting? A renewal, a new beginning.
So looking forward to your posts.

Gloria Baker said...

How beautiful look all in the farm, and the spring is an amazing time to see all growing!
I love these basil!!!, Here are so little, because we are in autumn sigh!
I have to wait to next spring!!
Always love your posts and pictures!!

Catherine said...

Dear T.W., I love that place. It is full of memories. I would bring my kids there to just walk, sit in the tavern open a lunch bag and journey back in time. My kids loved just walking. I also liked the candlelight walks at the holidays. 
It certainly is tonic for the soul. Blessings friend. Catherine 

Rosita Vargas said...

Me gustan los huertos y las hierbas y verduras frescas me gusta todo lo orgánico,lindo blog ,saludos y brazos.

Deana Sidney said...

Funny, I was just talking to a director who wants to do a veg garden scene. He thought September was the time and I said no, things look best young in most gardens (except in wet England where the rain and humidity keep things vibrant). Gorgeous looking garden!

~~louise~~ said...

I don't know what I'm more excited about, Restoration Farm reopening, Edible Long Island OR you becoming a "farmer." Congrats on all!!!

I'll be expecting some delicious meals from that produce of yours. Whoops, better dig out those Kale recipes!!!

Thank you so much for sharing, T.W...

Velva said...

I absolutely love this time of year. It is an awesome experience to be part of the farm family.


Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Everything at the farm looks great...hopefully it will be a great gardening year.

Axelle the french cook said...

Dont' have the chance to have a garden, but I have a small balcony. I make grow parsley, basil and rosemary. There is nothing more soothing than making grow plants.
And I like the chicken :)