Spring Has Sprung

Today the Frost Peach was opening her buds as warm sun reflects off the red barn to heat up soil and activate plants. It’s getting into the high 50s now with only a few weeks left of frost threat here in Western Washington. Leafhopper Farm is about 400 feet above the valley, making the frost free time a little later than down by the river at sea level. Wild plants around the farm have been sprouting and budding out for a while, from the Nettle to Indian Plum.

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Insects, amphibians, reptiles, and seasonal birds are flocking in to enjoy the spring awakening. The pond is hosting what sounds like one million frogs chorusing louder than ever this spring. We’ve seen mostly Pacific Green Tree Frogs, but both Red Legged and Little Brown Tree Frogs are about as well. Salamanders have been sighted swimming in the pond and Garter Snakes are making occasional appearances. Today, Kat, Jason, and I all held Northern Alligator Lizards basking in the first warm sun of several weeks. It’s great to see all the little indicator species alive and well here at Leafhopper.

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In the winter beds, garlic is springing up, little green shoots letting me know how many bulbs came through the winter cold. I even begun planting more this spring, to see if we can get a late fall crop. Many cloves from July 2016 are still bagged and ready in the house. This summer I’ll try selling some of my cloves as LHF seeded and grown. I’ve been only cultivating stemmed garlic, as it is easy to pull cloves from without all those small, barely usable cloves in the center. In this climate, I think the stalked garlic is also less likely to rot or grow fungus. I’m taking notes on the garlic beds and will see how my stalks overwinter this year.

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