Hello from sunny California! We are here celebrating the life of my husband’s grandfather, Ted, who passed away a year ago just a few days after his 97th birthday. Ted lived on a large tract of land outside of Nevada City, where he spent the last 30 years meticulously maintaining the long dirt road in to his home, planting trees and clearing trails throughout his woods. Although I never had the opportunity to meet him, he has come alive through the many wild and wonderful stories told by family and friends. One of my favorites involves a family wedding on Cape Cod in which Ted, dressed as Poseidon with trident in hand and draped in seaweed, emerged from the surf to bless the surprised couple as they made their vows to each other on the beach.

We are away from the Island for almost a week for this trip. It is a hard time to leave Chappy, not only because things are getting busier at the farm but also because it is such a beautiful time of year as things begin to bud out and bloom. Honeysuckle is one of the first plants to green up on Chappy. Although it is invasive, I always welcome the burst of color it brings after a long winter. Before we left, the serviceberry (also called shad berry) had budded out. Ian tells me this plant received its name because it was the sign that the ground had thawed enough to bury those who had died over the winter, allowing for funerals to take place.

By the time we get back, the Slip Away field at Wasque Farm will really be greening up. Our first round of direct-seeded radishes, scallions, peas and favas have already germinated and we transplanted out the first kale, collards and rainbow chard from the greenhouse as well as onion and leek sets. Many more plants will follow over the coming weeks, and soon we will be making our meals from food from the field once more. We have been grateful for the well-timed and abundant rainfall this spring which has allowed us to keep our irrigation off for a bit longer than usual. I am also finding myself immeasurably grateful for the new deer fence we installed this winter as it ensures that I no longer spend sleepless nights worrying about what might be destroyed by dawn.

This weekend is Mother’s Day and lots of fun events are happening all over the Island. On Chappy, the Trustees are leading a Mother’s Day trip out to the Cape Pogue lighthouse. Registration is required, email shurley@thetrustees.org or call 508-693-7662.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that we will have some of our tulips for sale at the end of the Slip Away driveway this weekend, the perfect gift on Mother’s day. It is my first time growing tulips so I planted just a small test plot in the field. I managed to keep the rabbits off of them with a lightweight netting. We did not do this with the ones we planted around our home and all but one succumbed to rabbits or deer or dogs or baby feet. But we really treasured the one orange bloom that did make it and opened last week, each taking a turn to smell it and admire it fully.

The field tulips I am growing like annuals. We’ll harvest the whole plant, bulb and all. Since they have their food source still attached, I have read that the blooms can be stored like this for up to a month in a refrigerator, a nice trick for flower growers looking to stretch the availability of a particular flower.

If you would like some of the blooms, please pass by the farm this weekend. Our farm stand will be open again for the season Memorial Day weekend, 9 to 5 on Fridays and Saturdays. Also, please be sure to join us at four o’clock on Saturday May 25 for our annual spring barbeque. All are welcome. We’ll put out a bucket for donations to help cover the cost; $20 is suggested.

Send Chappy news to slipawayfarm@gmail.com.