Festivals of Springtime
May is here! Many cultures celebrate this seasonal midpoint between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice. Around the world, these festivals include Beltane (Celtic, Pagan), May Day (Euro-American), Wulpurgisnacht/Valborg (German and Scandinavian), Root Festival (Yakama), Ching Ming (Chinese), Whitsuntide (Dutch), and the Goddess Festivals: Aphrodite (Greek), Venus (Roman), and Lada (Slavic). The themes many of these festivals share are a celebration of growth, renewal, fertility, and abundance. In many traditions, this marks the beginning of summer.
We are also celebrating this shift towards late spring on the farm! The greenhouses are filled seedlings and young plants ready to be planted in the ground. Last week, we transplanted onions, lettuces, kale, and other brassicas into the fields. Soon, there will be more lettuces, fennel, kohlrabi, and celery ready to go. Coming up behind them are sweet pepper plants, tomatoes, and basil. Other plants are direct-seeded into our fields – carrots, beets, spinach, chard – rather than started in the greenhouses.
Our Farmstand is bursting with plant starts ready for their forever homes! Besides many of the vegetables listed above, you can also take home a variety of beautiful flowers and herbs. My favorites are lion’s tail, straw flower, chocolate and bicolor sunflowers, hollyhock, anise hyssop, and beebalm. The plant starts are also for sale at the Co-op, the Corner, and the farmers market.
For me, working in the greenhouse is a dream job because I love to spend time with the young plants and watch life bursting out of the soil. Seeing the scarlet runner beans germinate is a special treat – in a single day they can grow an inch! It’s hard to believe that three months have already gone by since the beginning of the season, and that the busiest weeks of greenhouse season are coming to an end. It’s been a joy to discover newfound appreciation for the time and effort it takes to start all of these baby plants and to get them ready for the big wide world out there. I hope you share in the appreciation by planting seeds or plant starts in your own garden or windowsill at home!
Thanks to Mae Wolfe for the photo of Hannah, Darren, and Kellie!