January at the farm

It may be a new year but it is a continuation of our cycle at the farm.
We are in the midst of our winter garden with garlic as the first planting.
Needless to say, with our French and Italian cuisine, 
garlic is an important ingredient for all 3 of the restaurants.

Garlic was planted just a few weeks ago 
but with this unusually warm weather, the bulbs 
are already beginning to show "their feet".
The ground seems to think we are closer to Spring than the calendar does.
Part of our January labors involve working the 
raspberry and strawberry beds.
The raspberries were bountiful but some of the strawberries 
did not fare as well this summer, so we will transplant raspberries there.
But we are keeping one strawberry bed that was abundant. 
While Matt was consolidating the strawberry plants, 
he discovered frogs in the bed he was clearing.
This is actually a good sign since amphibians 
are the most fragile members of the ecosystem 
and not all that surprising in our biodynamic farm. 
We expect (and respect) the contributions 
of the "good" insects and animals that 
contribute to the health of the farm. 
The frogs are sensitive to UV light and need shelter 
in a semi-moist place but they don't harm the fruit. 
Their job is to eat the "bad guys"—insects like slugs 
that do harm the strawberries. 
And even now in January, the strawberries are looking healthy. 
Did you know that only the white blossoms produce the tasty fruit?
If you see a yellow blossom, that's a 
"false strawberry"—it may be edible but does not have much flavor.

Still a few months to go before we are back picking 
raspberries this Fall after bountiful summer crop

We are now working with the raspberries in their bare root state.
It often takes years for raspberries to be established 
enough to divide and transplant this way, so once again we are very lucky

These bare roots will soon bring us luscious berries.

This Western Blue Bird is supervising our work 
with the raspberry bare roots.
We value his contribution and know that he may be back to steal a taste
but we are willing to share.

Thanks so much for reading this blog and 
following our endeavors at the farm.
We hope to see you at the restaurants and 
have you share the fruits or our labors here.
And please do post a comment if you are enjoying these chronicles, 
have a story of your own gardening to share or ask us a question.


  1. I'm enjoying watching your progress on the farm. I just took over a tiny 1/3 acre just blocks from your restaurant on the eastside of sonoma. I'm just beginning the planting of 22 raised beds of edibles so I hope to learn a lot from your blog.

  2. Thanks Kathryn. You have a wonderful project ahead of you and indeed you will learn a lot, mostly from the plantings, which is what we find. Please let us know your progress, share your thoughts or ask a question. And of course, happy growing.