Happy Garlic Ready for the Snow

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Camp Stevens Farm and Garden Blog!

Thanks for checking out this first post for our brand new Camp Stevens Farm and Garden Blog!
I hope this will be a good venue for letting you all know what is going on in our fields, orchard, and gardens, and how you can get involved.

Around the gardens here, winter is always a time when there is no shortage of ambition. Seed catalogs clutter the tables and visions of colorful carpets of spring greens, frilly carrot tops and warm, loose soils fill my mind. Coming into the new year, we have completed many seed orders, comprised of over 100 different varieties of peppers, lettuce, beets, onions, broccoli, potatoes, tomatoes, herbs, flowers, and more and more vegetables. We are just beginning the real work of starting seeds in our greenhouse, preparing soil, and planting... the 2010 growing season is off and running!

It is shaping up to be an exciting year. Camp Stevens will be continuing its relationship with Volcan View Farm, just down the road from us. We will take on the management of their two main fields for the production of row-crop vegetables, to supply our kitchen with bushels of locally grown, fresh, organic produce. As we wait for the soils at the farm to dry out, we have been filling up the better-drained soils in the camp gardens with lettuce, peas, broccoli, fennel, chard, carrots, beets, onions, garlic, cabbage, and spinach; we are looking forward to an awesome spring harvest. If you get a chance to visit us soon, you will be treated to the spectacular and ephemeral display of our orchard in bloom.

Besides bringing exciting plans, 2010 is turning into one of the wettest years Julian has seen in a long time. There are few things more satisfying for a gardener than when he gets some seed in right before a nice long gentle rain, and 2010 has offered ample opportunity for this! The moisture has delayed some of our plans, for we must wait for soils to dry out before working them, but in southern california we are never allowed to complain about rain (unless, that is, it washes our houses away).

And for all of you, it is not too late to plant bare-root fruit trees, if you can find any available. Also, southern californians can still squeeze in some great cool-season vegetables, like greens and roots, while we start gearing up for those sexy summer crops. So get out there while the soils are moist and the climate is mild -- it is Spring in southern california! This is the time of year when things naturally want to germinate and grow. The plants we put in the ground during this time of year invariably succeed with much less coddling and work than those planted later in the year. This is due to the elegant principle -- one which should be a guiding principle for all human endeavor -- that whenever we hitch our wagon onto nature's train (in this case, the train of gently warming weather, increasing daylight, and the amazing presence of moisture), she will pull for us.

If we all do our part, our world can be a garden,