April Fools Musings from the Farm
by Laura Frerichs, Tastemaker in Residence
It's been a very early Spring on the farm this year. In fact, it has been the warmest that we have ever experienced in our farming careers, and we've been able to get in early and plant all sorts of produce. The birds are chirping and flocking, the Spring peeper frogs call from the wetland, the grass is green and growing--everything is just beautiful and full of promise.
After breakfast this morning, our family went outside to check on the crops and fields and to our surprise, many of the crops we got in early are ripe! The lettuce has leafed out, giving us baby heads of tender butter and romaine. The beets are plump and round, even the carrots had grown into slender crunchy matchsticks! We harvested a bit of each to bring inside for our lunch. We headed on by fields of lush cover crops growing and even saw some honeybees out and about buzzing around collecting pollen and the first nectar of the season. Then the miraculous part--we reached the tomato crop and saw the first ripe red tomato of the year. Juicy, full, and bright red, this tomato plant had literally grown and put on fruit during the warm Spring night! As we walked down the rows of tomato plants, we saw more and more ripe fruit dotting the vines. Vine-ripened tomatoes on April 1st?! This is a first in our Northern Tundra-esque Minnesota climate! I hope that every April 1st will find us eating farm-fresh tomatoes from the farm, juice dripping down our April Fool's stained chins.
Oh well, a farmer can dream!