Raíces Micro Farm Update – Signs of Spring…Shoots and Sprouts

by Nicole Wines

Snowdrops - Snowdrops-one of the first late winter flowers to bloom.  These are valuable to pollinators, especially bees, for their sweet, nutritious nectar.

Snowdrops-one of the first late winter flowers to bloom. These are valuable to pollinators, especially bees, for their sweet, nutritious nectar.

We’ve got spring fever at Raíces and we can’t wait to start planting our veggies, greens and herbs and lots of flowers for the bees and other pollinators.  By this time last year we were already harvesting our first baby lettuce, but the cold and the snow has pushed the start of spring back to its normal time of year.

What felt like the first real winter we’ve had in a few years made it feel like the growing season couldn’t come fast enough, but the first signs of spring are finally showing.

Daffodil shoots emerging

Daffodil shoots emerging.

We saw snowdrops in bloom this week, which will be the first flowers to feed our bees with their nectar next year.  The melting snow revealed daffodil shoots, which are sure to start growing fast now that the snowpack and layers of ice on the ground are gone. We will have all of our indoor seedlings planted by the end of this weekend, our first beehive is built and we are ordering our first family of bees to pick up in April.

Garlic - The first of our garlic to sprout, these shoots emerged back in the fall and survived the heavy snow and ice cover through the winter.

The first of our garlic to sprout, these shoots emerged back in the fall and survived the heavy snow and ice cover through the winter.

The most exciting news from our Micro Farm is that our garlic sprouting, all three varieties that we planted in the fall-Rocambole, Turban Uzbekistan, and a white skinned organic variety we found at the local health food store.  We can already see the differences in the garlic varieties because they sprouted at different times.  One type already had greens shooting up in the fall, that got covered by the snow and are now trying to recover.  One type sprouted a week or two ago, when the ice and snow on the ground softened.  The last type just started sprouting yesterday morning, when we took these photos.  These sprouts were so small and young that they were still yellow from not yet producing chlorophyll.  We are looking forward to the scapes (garlic greens) we will be eating in the spring and especially to harvesting our own garlic to eat and share this summer.

Garlic shoots that emerged a week or two ago, looking strong.

Garlic shoots that emerged a week or two ago, at most, looking strong already.

These garlic shoots emerged just hours before taking this photo, it is still yellow because it hasn't had enough time in the sun to make it's chlorophyll.

Our third variety of garlic sent up its first shoots  just hours before taking this photo. It is still yellow because it hasn’t had enough time in the sun to make it’s chlorophyll.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interested in getting involved in Raíces EcoCulture activities?  Get in touch by emailing us at raices@raicesculturalcenter.org.  Or join our seed library or apiculture initiative programs.


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