May 2, 2016

Bustling Spring


The grass on the hills is still lush green from the rains a few weeks ago. The clouds that have been floating overhead have added a contrast to the farmland that is a beautiful part of spring. The clouds always come from the west, and they often leave huge shadows on the ground as they move east. There have been a few of them that have dropped quick bursts of rain, but nothing significant, just enough to remind us that summer is not here yet.

The stone fruit tree blossoms are finished. In their places are tiny, hard green balls that will mature into fruit. The apriums will be first, followed by apricots then cherries, peaches and nectarines. The cover crops that grew so tall over the winter between the rows in the orchards have been mowed and disced back into the soil. Their life cycle is onto the next phase. Next to the bare ground, the fruit trees look taller than they did amidst the mature cover crops.

The citrus on the farm is just beginning to push out their elegant, white flowers. They are not large like the stone fruit blossoms, but small and delicate. One has to look for them between the evergreen citrus leaves. They are not as fun to look at, but their smell is divine.

Beyond the orchards in the flat land next to the creek, the sounds of tractors echoes off the hills beyond the creek. One tractor seeds spring vegetable crops; another is discing a field of cover crops; a third pulls a trailer full of sprinkler pipe that crews are installing for the newly planted vegetable seeds. The last tractor pulls the harvest trailer through the asparagus field that leads a crew of twenty who are plucking green asparagus shoots from the ground.

On the other end of the farm, tomato transplants are just settling into their new field. Eggplant, pepper and melon plants have just arrived from the greenhouse and are in the queue to be planted into the ground. Things are bustling to say the least.