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Snow On The Way — But First We Weeded and Harvested

Santa Monica, this ain’t.

The week of sun and slightly cool weather mixed with rain pleased the soil and plants quite a bit. Weeds seem to have encountered steroids, and as they beef-up we spend a lot of time yanking them (and in the above photo, we are using a wheel hoe to cut weeds at ground level that we find between rows). Meanwhile, the plants that we eat keep reaching for the sun and spreading in a way that makes us all rather happy here at Black Cat  Farm.

The field of wheat is looking great, but Eric cannot resist yanking weeds as he works the land.
The field of wheat is looking great, but Eric cannot resist yanking weeds as he works the land.

The snow (here we get to the Santa Monica part) is supposed to start falling sometime later this afternoon. Tonight?  A low of 25 degrees. The forecast: As much as 9 inches of snow in Boulder by tomorrow, although the blanket could be quite a bit less, depending on the storm track. That’s April in Boulder! The snow will help the soil and the plants, providing moisture for several days. The cold temperatures should not affect the farm much — we have yet to plant tender things, like basil and tomato, that die when temperatures dip beneath freezing.

Eric walks the fields counting artichoke (!) plants. We have nearly 150 this year — artichokes are not supposed to grow in Colorado. But after 7 years of trial and error, we figured it out.
Eric walks the fields counting artichoke (!) plants. We have nearly 150 this year — artichokes are not supposed to grow in Colorado. But after 7 years of trial and error, we figured it out.

One plant that does not suffer the cold with stout indifference is asparagus. Our acre of asparagus — one of the larger plots in the Front Range — was nothing but rocks and grasses until about 10 days ago, when the first spears began rising from the soil. Now, we are hauling tens of pounds of asparagus from the field every few days. That’s quite a bit of asparagus! We hauled buckets of asparagus this week, in anticipation of the frost tonight. Will new spears emerge next week, when temperatures return to the seasonal norm? We certainly hope so. Either way, for now the asparagus is only making it to the restaurants.

An asparagus spear in our acre plot.
An asparagus spear in our acre plot.
A Boulder home cook preparing Black Cat Farm asparagus — sauteed in olive oil with salt and a squeeze of lemon. Perfect.
A Boulder home cook preparing Black Cat Farm asparagus — sauteed in olive oil with salt and a squeeze of lemon. Perfect.

This week’s farmers’ market bounty is substantial (items new this week in bold):

  • Tom Thumb (a lettuce)
  • Mizuna
  • Arugula
  • Tat soi
  • Lettuce mix
  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Pea tendrils
  • Arugula flowers
  • Parsley
  • Osaka purple
  • Radishes
  • Spring onions
  • Harukei turnips
  • Pork cuts (but no ribs)
  • Chorizo
  • Ground pork
  • Radish flowers
  • Cilantro
Positively delicious radish flowers, for sale this week at the market. You will find them as garnishes at the restaurant, too. They are distilled radish.
Positively delicious radish flowers, for sale this week at the market. You will find them as garnishes at the restaurant, too. They are distilled radish.