Hi friends,

After spending about a month identifying very strongly with the beavers in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, as in, “Winter is really beautiful, but holy cow! when are we supposed to restock our food and fuel and let our babies run around outside?”, North Branch Farm and I have finally been ambushed by spring.  In the last week, since I whisked Ada away for a NC grandparent getaway and then returned, Monroe has gone from total snow and sloosh cover to only residual patches of snow in open areas and the beginnings of bare ground in the forest.  We’ve gone from days that weren’t getting above freezing to nights that don’t plan to go below freezing for the foreseeable future.

We started our onion seedlings one month ago and they have gone through the knee stage and the hairpin stage and the shepherd’s crook stage.  They are now in the fine yet robust place where they look like they want to jump out of their soil and bounce around like Lowly Worm but we still have to marvel at the fact that five months hence that little thread of green will have produced an 8-ounce globe of radiant pungency.

Since it was my first morning in a while waking up on the farm–and a very early one at that–I took a walking tour at 5:30am.  First stop: the seedling greenhouse; the heater had run out of kerosene in the night and the air temp was down around 37 degrees, but even the basil seedlings looked okay.  Next stop was the NRCS high tunnel where lush crops of spinach and mâche are woefully overstocked.  Call or email us if you want to pick your own spinach at $5/lb!  What a deal!  We have probably 100 lbs of spinach and our regular accounts just can’t keep up.

The final leg of my walk was down the north fork of the logging road, where the real dive-bombing occurred.  At the current end of the road, a very pissed off hawk swooped over my head and landed in a nearby tree, then menacingly whetted her beak on the branch where she was perched.  I stopped and watched and then she eloquently told me off (the alarm call and near nest call).  Then she did it all over again, three more times.  After I decided that this very brave, scared, and beautiful bird had made herself clear that she didn’t want me around, I headed back for home and her mate pulled the same routine on me, but only did one rep.  I am looking forward to Cooper’s hawklets at North Branch Farm.

May Spring show itself as forcefully to all of you,




Our snowy farmscape


Carlos, one of our yearling steers, nibbling snow and hay




Steadfast steeds in their blingy new harnesses


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