A Note from Layton | Plant Parenthood

March 26, 2018

By Layton Guenther

Quail Hill Farm

Preparing for early Spring | March 22, 2018

My good friend (and former QHF apprentice) Matthew Dell and I have this running joke: when it comes time to sow the first seeds of spring (since the sowing flips an irreversible switch: the 24-hour job of plant parenthood), we would look at each other, eyebrows raised, and say: “Sure you wanna do this?” Having just rounded the corner of another Vernal Equinox, and what with our apprentices arriving in just two short weeks, the answer is a resounding YES!

Despite being stymied by several weekly winter storms, our potting soil finally arrived last week. And so we ceremoniously fire up the propane heater in our greenhouse, hook up the hoses and ready ourselves to sow the first seeds of spring: Dakota Tears onion, Bleu de Solaize leek, Imperial Star artichoke, Little Gem lettuces, and much more. And so, for the next nine months give or take, your farmers of Quail Hill will be sowing, watering, transplanting, weeding, tending our charges. Such is the life of the diversified vegetable grower.

The Equinox occurs twice annually: six months apart, in September and March. It’s a time of balance, equanimity, and transition. The vernal (or, spring) equinox is time of growth: Vegetal, diurnal, and the like. Quail Hill, too, is in a time of transition, and this winter we have put significant energy into planning (with the help of our esteemed Farm Committee and advisor Max Ryan).


For the 2018 season, we welcome back Tori Vitanza for a second-year apprenticeship, in which she will assist with tractor work and volunteer coordination. We are in the process of hiring an Education Coordinator, to help us improve the honorable task of instructing our advanced apprentices in the machinations of farming on our beloved East End.

After a long, cold winter, we still have an abundance of carrots in our root cellar and greens in our greenhouses— if you should want for any carrots, shoot me an email at and we’ll get you set up.

With the help of you, our community of farm members and supporters, we’ll be breaking ground on our 29th year of this great community farm. Because of your continued participation and attentiveness, we joyfully and diligently tend to this ongoing experiment in equanimity, biodiversity and land stewardship.

We truly couldn’t do it without you (and even Scott couldn’t eat all of those potatoes by himself). THANK YOU!


In the Greenhouse and Coming Soon!

Right now we’re seeding: leeks, shallots, onions, artichokes, parsley, celery and celeriac.

Soon to come: strawflowers, yarrow, statice, lettuce, cabbage, kale, chard, fennel, collards and napa cabbage.

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