Friday, May 2, 2008
Fava Beans in Flower and Foxy Digitalis
Here goes another whirlwind Friday, cutting, harvesting, washing, bunching, and of course picking berries. We hope to pick ten flats today for market tomorrow. There was a Sat. last year where we had twenty flats of berries for market. Wowzers! We even sold them all, while our parent/mentor farm down the way brought 18 flats and only sold 16 flats. People go crazy for berries, and maybe it was our red t-shirts that sealed the deal for us. Here is a picture from 4/28/07 from the big berry day last year; that is Stuart in the picture with his back turned away. (he was standing in for Georgio for a minute, hoping no one would mistake that stand for being his own; oh we miss the days of George being our neighbor). Wow, the stock was blooming already! This year we're trying a new variety of stock, the cheerful series, that does not require a vernalization period as most stock do. It is already about 12 inches tall, a new stock height record for Bluebird Meadows. Hopefully it will shoot up a couple more inches before it blooms. Stock is a superfragrant flower that isn't really all that showy, but I guess with the smell and all people seem to love it. One day when we have a hoophouse (hopefully this fall we'll put two in) we'll be able to bring flowers of a more majestic height. Not that I think height is all that for flowers. For example, our calendula is about 5-6 inches tall and it is such a hot flower. Hot on the color wheel that is. Electric orange and yellow colors so far and just gorgeous. We got some calendula seed called Pacific Art shades and the seed was really funky looking for calendula seed. I wish I had a picture as the seed really had character. Right now it is the princess series blooming and it has just started so I'll post a pic when there are more coming in.
This week is our big foxglove week. Foxy digitalis as it is also called. Huge stems (for us atleast) are going to make a good show for tomorrow, which is good since our icelandic poppies are on their way out. Here is a poppy pic and one can see why they have stolen the limelight for the past four markets. Not only are they fragrant, but they look just like paper-maiche, and we get atleast a few people asking if they are real each week. They are the crack of the flower department, along with carrots and beets in the veggie department. A flower we never bring home, except on lousy Wednesday markets in Carrboro. So goodbye to the poppies, we loved you while you lasted. I look forward to not have to drive back to our house from the farm to sear them, as you need to dunk 1/4 inch of stem in boiling water for 20 seconds after you cut them so they can take up water. Crazy, huh? On an ending note, I have to post a picture of the fava beans in bloom. They have such a delicate and cool looking flower, similar to a sweet pea. They smell, and only if we could enlarge them to five times their size and be sure they had a vase life of 4-5 days, us flower growers would be rich. (yeah right.) I mean, really, a black and white flower? The demand would be off the hook. But luckily they will atleast be useful for making fava beans if not for a flower sale. If you enlarge the photo you can see the little ladybug crawling on them to show you scale.