Last Taste of Winter

In dozens of ways, we are gearing up for spring on the farm.  We are signing people up for our CSA, caring for trays of seedlings, preparing the ground for planting, popping onion sets into the cold soil, building a new hoophouse and seeding trays in the chilly hoophouse.  At the same time, we are enjoying the last of the winter as spring weather is making a slow and faulty entrance.  Last week, we had a dusting of snow on our daffodils and our winter coats are still in easy reach. The farm pace is not yet frenetic and we are enjoying the last of the relative calm.

radish microgreens with sprouted lentils

One winter farm treat that we started this year is growing microgreens or very young baby greens that we grow in our seedling trays for something fresh and green in the winter.  Soon, we hope our harvest will be much more abundant, filling bushel baskets instead of tiny bowls, but these baby harvests are a nice taste of what is to come and add some extra nutrition and interest to our dinner.  These are pretty heart shaped radish greens with lentils which we sprouted in a jar on our kitchen counter.

These last calm days also allow for family hikes, and I want to share this image of

Can you identify this machine?

some old farm machinery we came across on a new trail in the Patuxant River Park near our farm. Can anyone tell me what this is?   We could not identify it, although we have our theories. I was able to find a tag and it was made by IH Case in Racine, Wisconsin.  Much of the farming around here was tobacco, but I am not sure how this machine fit in. It looks like it would have been used for grains, but maybe not.

baby dress

In case you are interested in sewing,  I will show you that I made one tiny dress so far from that giant piece of organic interlock I wrote about a few weeks ago.    I still need to find time to finish the sleeves and the neck, and I wound up hand ruffling the bottom instead of trying to tame my new ruffler foot, but my little girl loves it anyway!

Pretty soon we will be overtaken by spring planting here, but I hope to find time to write about the farm season on this blog.

Happy Spring Equinox!


  1. I loved reading your descriptions of the farm as spring approaches… (And the dress is wonderful!)

  2. I really like this post. Keep up the good work.

  3. The mystery revealed! A friend sent me this comment by email.

    About the machine on your blog—I think it is an old combine or maybe a thresher. Both would be used to separate grain from the chaff (husks, stems, pebbles, bugs, etc.). I think a threshing machine was stationary and the farmer would bring the shocks of wheat or other grain to the machine to feed into it manually. I saw a demonstration of one at the Oxon Hill Children’s Farm 20+ years ago. Cloth bags would be filled with clean grains on one side and then at the other side there would be a big haystack of straw. A combine is more modern and is able to travel down the field and cut and thresh at the same time. Trucks have to drive along next to the combine in order to catch the grain and the straw is left in rows on the ground to be bailed up later.

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