Wow. An April unlike any other April in our collective memories! Even my mother, at age 91, has no memories or family stories of the Spanish Flu Epidemic, 1918-1920. This coronavirus has hit all of us equally new.
Fortunately for us, the plants that were planted in months past have continued on their way to harvest, blithely ignoring projections, edicts, proclamations, predictions, or other statements. The plants have demanded that we keep up with harvesting. How we get those vegetables to the consumer is not their concern.
Here are our wonderful greens—lettuces, baby bok choy, arugula, mustard greens, chard, kale, etc.—as well as the start of asparagus (10 days ahead of last year) and rhubarb. Onions give way to fresh scallions, and mint, thyme, chives, and sorrel are greening up outside in addition to what is growing in the tunnels. The fruit trees look great, and the new raspberry canes promise a good crop. I have spotted our first pair of barn swallows, scouting out last year’s nesting area. I love our barn swallows—they are so beautiful and graceful plus they eat thousands of insects daily!
Plants are a welcome addition, as many people have more time to plant a garden this year. Lettuce, onions, kale, spinach, basil, impatiens, begonias, yarrow, lilacs, and the list goes on. We know how enticing those vegetable plants and colorful flowers are! Gardening is very therapeutic—it helps ground you literally and mentally. Native perennials are always popular, as well as the colorful annuals that give us beautiful blooms all season long.
We have all shifted. We cannot deliver to businesses as we once did. We limit the number of people in the store. Sometimes our driver sits in a parking lot while CSA customers pick up at the van. We have greatly expanded our online offerings and offer curbside pick-up. All of you shop less frequently, try to avoid crowds, and try to get good food for your household. Apparently, everyone decided to bake bread at the same time, since yeast disappeared from the supply line for a few weeks! We have it back in stock now.
As we all try to find our new routines in these distinctly not normal times, it is reassuring to know that the plants keep growing and harvest continues. Strawberries will be here in just a few weeks, regardless of travels bans. Spring peas, cucumbers, and zucchini are not far behind.
A special round of applause for all the farm staff, here at Highland Orchards and throughout the country, who are working so very hard for you during these difficult times. Every day they work to bring you the best possible produce so that you can eat fresh and stay well. Please remember to thank your farmer and farm staff whenever you can—we appreciate hearing a thank you! Stay safe!