Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Herb Farm 6, 7, 8, Uprooting Parsnips, Salsify, the Art of Watering Plants and The Great Chicken Caper

I believe it has rained every day that I have gone to the farm, except once or twice. It is expected after all in March and maybe it's me, but it just seems to rain more in the Woodinville/Redmond area. Bill is on vacation in lovely Hawaii, and likely, the last thing on his mind is feeding pigs while he is crunching his toes in the sand.

Sally King, the Director of Ravencroft Garden is an amazing herbalist that I was fortunate enough to meet and have guide me in the greenhouse for a couple days this week. Just being around Sally for a little while and you can feel her connection to plants, it's who she is, it's in her energy. This week I learned a great deal about the art of watering plants, the proper way to plant marjoram seedlings and another lesson in chicken behavior.

For several days now, a couple of the hens have been escaping their little netted area. We have all come to the conclusion it's because of several reasons. One being that the small solar electric fence is water-logged and now broken; the hens are bored and finding ways to shimmy under the non-electric netting into greener pastures or ...someone is having fun with us and pulling a couple chickens out and letting them loose, just to see us running around with our arms and legs outstretched to try and corral the chickens back into their area...

Sally and I tied up any possible openings in the fence and added some fresh straw and a big heap of pulled weeds to their little enclosure for them to scratch and peck at. The woolly pigs enjoyed some organic olive bread and cranberry bagels from the food bank to go with their grain this week.

Sally and I pulled up some of the last remaining parsnips and salsify out of the garden for the restaurant. I have yet to eat salsify, though I am excited to try it- likely next year. The variety we were digging up were pale yellow, looking very much like parsnips and carrots, except the root of the salsify is quite a bit "hairier" (if there is a way to describe it) and often branches out into several thick roots, instead of one thick root. We tried our best to uproot as many mature salsify and parsnip roots as possible, but it's practically April and the supply is just about gone.

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