CSA Newsletter 4/24 – The Swallows of Spring
Living on the Olympic Peninsula, the arrival of springtime can feel like a very gradual process, almost sneaking up on you. The months of February, March and April generally show little differences in temperature and rainfall, yet there are subtle and not so subtle signs all around us. Just a few weeks ago, while picking tulips, a coworker rose from the ground and said, “Wait, when did the Trumpeter Swans leave, and how long have they been gone?” Just like that a bird that measures five feet in length and fills our valley from end to end somehow snuck off in the middle of the night, without a goodbye. They kept us company through those dark winter days in the fields and reminded us that nature is all around us.
Now the Trumpeter Swan has been replaced by the Forest Swallow, and soon the Barn Swallow will follow. After a rain these birds dart in and out of crops feeding on bugs, hardly paying any attention to crew members. Their speed, agility and grace is amazing to watch, although the farm dog Maggie may disagree.
In other places around the farm the signs of spring are hard to miss. While we wait for more fields to open up, good weather windows and time to get plants in the ground, the greenhouses are overflowing with eager starts. Onions, strawberries, potatoes, kale and lettuce are just a few things that are going into the ground as soon as we can get them there. When the weather is good enough to work the soil, the tractors are moving through the fields almost non-stop, planting and preparing for new crops. The crew is hastily preparing for the busy season by setting up irrigation systems, trellising peas, working on tractors, building tomato houses and keeping up with harvest. All of a sudden, seemingly without warning, we have found ourselves in that time of year again, springtime, where to-do lists and plants alike grow faster and faster each day.