This is the time of the year when everything at Desert Canyon Farm is all in a dither! There is more to do, of course, then there are hours in each day, so we work along as fast and as hard as we can to accomplish all that needs to be done. Right now we are scrambling around to get all the final preparation done to open tomorrow for our annual spring Open Farm Days and Farm Stand Plant Sale. You can find all the specifics about open dates, hours, directions to the farm, free workshops schedule, and so forth on the pages of this blog called Open Farm Days and Classes & Events. You can also find database pages for all the plants we grow here on the farm on the Heritage Heirloom Food Plants and Herb Plant information pages of the blog.
So, let me take you on a quick virtual walk-about of what we have been doing this week to get ready for your visit to the farm…
The picnic table sits in the White Rabbit Garden at the back of our house. It has been washed and is waiting for visitors to bring their own picnics and enjoy a bit of birdsong around them as they eat their lunch. Seriously, you are all invited to stroll the gardens, the flower seed crop production field, the heirloom orchards while you are visiting. The production greenhouses will be closed to the public, but there is plenty of other areas of the farm to stroll and enjoy.
There are zillions of wild birds all around for those of you who would like to do a bit of birding while you are here. The curved billed thrashers are nesting in the desert garden, the red wing black birds are nesting around the ponds in the cattails. Two days ago the yellow headed black birds arrived and have been hanging out. The quail are scurrying about and endless other wild birds too.
Our friend Dwayne has been a life-saver in our preps this week. He’s been here twice to help. He and Chris assembled and put up the tents for our free workshops two days ago. Then he was back yesterday to do all manner of odds and ends from pumping up wagon tires so that Farm Stand plant shoppers have wagons to fill with their plant purchases, to planting a Persian Mulberry tree next to the Farm Stand entrance sign. He was hauling chairs out, putting signs up…on and on it goes. Thank you Dwayne for all your help!
The farm crew has been super busy too. Elisa and Morgan, Carol and Lizz have been cleaning and labeling plants in the Farm Stand. Morgan is wearing gloves as she labels the Nettles flat of plants. So for all you herbalist and permaculture gardeners…yes, we have nettles and comfrey plants available in the Farm Stand, along with nearly 500 other varieties of plants.
Carol finished cleaning up all the outside nursery plants yesterday. They are a bit weary from being in the snow storm last weekend, but those plants are very hardy and they are quickly bouncing back and looking perky again. Here is Carol working on the poppy section in the Farm Stand.
M’lissa (our daughter) and Luke (her partner) have spent hours and hours on preparations. M’lissa made color picture signs for all the flats of plants we have for sale, so visitors shopping can see what the plants will look like, learn a bit about their growing needs and also how to use them, whether that is an herbal use, a cooking use, a wildlife-friendly use, or a fairy garden use…to name only a few of the ways our plants are grown by gardeners. She and Luke placed most of those signs yesterday and today I will be finishing that very big task. M’lissa helps me so much, not just at Open Farm Days, but all through the year with office tasks and updating the website databases, etc. The list is endless of ways she offers help to us here. Now Luke has arrived in her life and in ours and he has been wonderful too at offering extra support and help. Loving thank you to them both.
Chris has been hanging up posters that Lizz spent many hours this winter creating to tell you about the uses of the heritage and heirloom vegetables, edible flowers, and how to plant container gardens complete with suggestions of great plants to put together for this purpose.
It’s really hard, nearly impossible actually, for us to get any time to work in the gardens in spring, as our time is needed planting and processing orders for wholesale customers, and getting plants ready for Open Farm Days for retail visitors. That said, Morgan, Elisa and Carol managed to get an hour in this week to do a tiny bit of garden tidying up. It’s hardly a drop in the bucket of what needs to be done in the gardens, and we trust visitors to understand that on a working farm things happen in the order of priority that is most urgent to those tasks that can wait until more time allows. Gardening is one of those tasks that must wait until more time allows. That said, there are many things starting to bloom in the gardens and flower buds getting fat and ready to open soon. The gardens are wonderful even when they haven’t been tended to very much yet.
Lizz, as always, is the quiet and steadying person here. She keeps things moving along as smoothly as they can go. When wholesale orders come in, I pull them and send them into her care, where she makes sure that every plant is dressed and labeled and ready to go to it’s new home at one of our independent garden center customers. She keeps the planting tasks on track while I’m scrambling around trying to figure out how to create more space for newly transplanted flats to go in the greenhouses. She is the farm’s beekeeper on top of all the other things she does here. In fact, today she is planning to split one of our hives that has gotten too large and is preparing to swarm. Lizz will spilt the colony to start a new colony of bees. She is amazing and Chris and I would be lost without her help and love.
Well, I’m noticing that it is time to get to work for the day, so I’ll close for now. If you live close enough to visit the farm during our Open Farm Days and Farm Stand plant sale, we will hope to see you here. If you are a reader of this blog that lives too far to visit, we’re sorry we won’t see you here, but we wish to tell you we greatly appreciate your interest in the happenings here and hope that you will find useful bits of information on this website.
With Green Thoughts, Tammi