Though annual vegetables and herbs (those that need to be replanted every season) make up the bulk of our production at Oxbow, we do have a small patch of perennial herbs—mint, thyme, chives, lovage, and sorrel—and strawberry and rhubarb patches that we care for and, each spring, are reminded to appreciate.
Leaves are often the first new growth to emerge in springtime, so herbs tend to be the first crops available after the danger of frost has passed but before the soil is dry enough to be worked in preparation for new plantings. At Oxbow, the early arrival of these flavorful young leaves offers us a product to sell (and enjoy) long before our earliest annuals will be available. These sales will make up a very small percentage of our season’s farm revenue but are key to getting us out of the gates early to reopen our relationships with our restaurant customers.
Perennials need weeding and fertility treatments just like our annuals, but on their own schedule. This drawback of the extra management complexity is made up for by the early start they give us. One reason we added the Early Season to our program this year was to take better advantage of all the perennials offer us. Hope you’re looking forward to them in your first few boxes next month!