The Open Gate Farm
269 Russell Road
Camano Island, WA 98282
April 26, 2011
Spring Sweeps In at The Open Gate Farm
There is nothing more delicate around here than discussions on pricing of our products. We have a tradition of not raising them, of ignoring margins and living with the consequences. But alas, after 5 or more years of the same price for everything, we took some time this winter to consider it all…including looking in our bank account…and realized that we really should make a small profit on at least some of the items. So with studies in hand, we have decided this is the last week for our old prices. Next week, some will be higher. Some may be the same, but not all.
So here is a bit of history for you…soon to fade into the past…kind of like a first edition of a book. Save this email! Someday you will show it to your grandchildren and they will be stunned by how cheap you could buy happiness in these golden days. And email us back your order for this Saturday when we will be open again for another plant sale! More of the best will be here!
|Bakery||Garden Center||The Farm Store|
|Cinnamon Rolls @ $2.50 min 6||Native Plants: 1st year||Book – “Dear Friends” $14|
|Breads @ $5:||Nootka Rose @ $10||Greeting Cards 5 / $7.50|
|Sesame||Pacific 9 Bark @ $10||Farm T-Shirts @ $12|
|Rosemary||Evergreen Huckleberry @ $5|
|Oatmeal Molasses||Paper Birch @ $10||Free: magazines!|
|Cookies @ $1 min 12||Mock Orange @ $10|
|Scones @ $1.50 min 6||Rhubarb roots $10||The School|
|Black Currant||Wild Lupine $5||The Honorable Farmer|
|Almond / Orange||Bacopa $2.50||Class – April 20th|
|Granola @ $3.00 / bag||Day Lilies $3|
|And lots more!!!|
In the 1800’s, it was popular for men like John Muir to take a hike. Starting in New Orleans, they would follow a season north, walking for months in the soft spring air and smelling fresh flowers all the way. Books were written and talks were given and they were admired for their cleverness to live a life of almost eternal spring. They seemed to deny winter it’s cruelty. But if they had stopped in here at The Open Gate Farm they could have saved themselves a lot of shoe leather.
We see spring sweep in slowly and majestically here too. And we see it by staying still, by keeping our eyes open around our farm. Wasn’t it Yogi Bera who said you can observe a lot by watching?
It began with watching the swelling buds on the Santa Rosa plum twig we grafted onto an Italian plum tree along Russell Road a year ago. The rest of the tree was hunkered down, waiting for winter to wind up. But this one little branch from California did not know better so it went ahead on it’s own schedule and blossomed mightily in the face of the cold rain and blustery winds of late winter.
Then the torch was passed to the plum tree in the orchard with 3 kinds of plums grafted onto it. A gift from dear friends, it gifted us again with a blast of blossoms which smelled like, well, like hope. Taking encouragement from that, the daffodils began to rise and swell and pop out their yellow horns of happiness, bobbing in the wind and telling us, “It really will get better soon!” That reminded the other plum trees of their job so they put forth blossoms with a scent that we still remember.
Now, as those are fading, we see the cherry blossoms covering our little trees with popcorn balls of white joy. Spring is sweeping in more colors with the softer weather. The pink is showing on the peach tree and the apple tree will not be far behind we are sure while the pear trees are opening their white wonders to the world of pollinators. And somewhere in there the azalea covered itself with so many blossoms wild birds could not find a place to sit in the branches. At the same time, the pretty red flowering currants in the nursery called our attention to the warming air and softening winds.
As we have worked around the farm this year and watched this sweeping in of the new season, we have realized that we have made it through another winter. We’re going to be o.k. again. The frosted walks and hard ground are gone into frozen memories. The dark and wind and cold and slashing rains are over. Now have come the more gentle spring rains which water the earth and covering the seeds call them forth to grow into what they were designed to become.
And that is how life seems to be. We struggle against the cold, hard times. We bundle up and get more wood to put on the home fires to keep them burning and giving what warmth they can. It’s a cold world out there. We grab the umbrellas of winter holidays like Christmas and New Years and Valentine’s Day to shelter us from our personal storms which threaten disaster as we struggle through the lives we’ve been allotted. It is a battle in winter.
Winter seems to drag on forever. However spring shoots past in a flash of bright colors and sweet smells. Why is that? Perhaps it is because the cold of winter slows our steps. We are forced to go slowly in winter but we can rush through the soft spring air doing everything we wanted to but couldn’t in the cold days. It may be in part because there is more oxygen in the air in spring. Leaves are coming out and releasing more of the good stuff than we had in winter. So we need to slow down in the spring, to let each day drag out into perfection and get a solid place in our memories. Then when the blossoms fade, our hearts will be healed and the hopes we have held close can become real again.
The storms fade, the wind slows, the rain changes from pelting to mists, and the flowers of life bloom. And somehow we must catch our breaths. We must stop and take time to see the beauty around us emerge from the dark days. We then will at last see the rainbows of life, the children laughing, the adults chuckling, the chickens scratching soft soil, and the ducks head down in the puddles looking for who knows what.
Then we can finally pause and we will see that we all have made it through another winter. A hard one for many; one with unwanted changes and more than one dream crushed perhaps. But we have survived, we are still here, we are together, and for that we can be thankful.
Margaret the Muscovy duck is scheduled to hatch some eggs out this week. The rhubarb never looked better. The lettuce is growing as fast as it can. The garlic is standing tall. The ground around the blueberries is drying out. The bees are happy and hauling in pollen by the armful. Spring is here and the earth is reborn!
As the seasons roll past here on our little farm, we know that soft spring days will become the torrid days of summer to be followed by the chills of autumn and the frozen days of winter again. Unlike those stalwarts who tried to live in what seemed like eternal spring as they followed it north, we get to experience it all of life and realize that no matter how hard the winter, there will always be a spring. Each season gives way to the next as we must give way to the new in our own lives. Who knows what the year will hold? None of us. But we do know that because nothing is constant but change, we can trust that our hard winters will not last forever.
If yours seems to be going on and on and on, if doubt and dark still cloud your skies, why don’t you come by and bury your nose in the cherry tree? Join the honey bees and let those blossoms fill your heart with hope. We promise not to laugh at the pollen on your nose.
Jon and Elaine, the springing farmers, Snickers the blossoming dog, Mystery, the slowly unfolding cat, Harley and his flock of petal picking chickens, and the Parson Dudley Brown and his flock of blossoming ducks all of whom live joyfully at
The Open Gate Farm
269 Russell Road,
Camano Island, WA 98282
©2011 Internet Millennium Copywriter applies. May be reproduced without further permission if source is acknowledged. As always, if you no longer wish to receive these periodic notices from The Open Gate Farm, let us know and we will remove your name from our email list. And if someone sent this on to you and you want to add your name, let us know that too!