Well, there is good news and bad news. All seven of the overwintering favas I trialled have survived the winter and are perky and ready to grow up up up with the lengthening days. The bad news is that how will I know which ones are the most cold tolerant when they all survived? The best kind of trial is when 90% of the varieties do poorly, and 10% thrive. Then you know you are on to something. We simply didn't have a harsh winter this year. The super cold northeaster we had in January followed a snowfall, which seems to have protected the plants well. Even my winter garden made it through far better than it did the past few winters. It was a gradual hardening off this year, which is fabulous...but as I said, I didn't get good info about the favas.
Our 1200 garlic plants look beautiful, happily popping up through the mulch. We did a side by side comparison of mulched vs unmulched this year. The unmulched version was already full of weeds, but seems to be growing more vigorously, since the bare soil can warm up more quickly.
So I enjoyed a couple of very beautiful february afternoons weeding the garlic, favas, and overwintering wheat and barley trials. I am ecstatic about having overwintered crops that I can enjoy working with without having to wait until the soil is dry enough to till up with the tractor and warm enough to germinate new seed. It felt wonderful to be back out to the field at Broadleaf Farm, a very special place, with the most beautiful soil that is so lovely to weed. The field at home, on the other hand, is a soggy, heavy, mucky mess and I don't even want to think about planting anything there until at least May.
Georgia and I will have the details out on our CSA very soon. We are shooting for March 1. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, I am busy filling seed and book orders and looking forward to having a small booth at the Bellingham Farmer's Market this year. I hope to see you there!
Krista is a life-long resident of Whatcom County, Washington State. She has been gardening and farming in the area for over 15 years.