fiddleheadsAs erratic as the late winter and spring temperatures have been, there is nothing unpredictable about the appearance of our first local crop – the fiddle-head ferns.

The season is just a bit later than usual due to lingering high water along the creeks and riverbanks. Folks who harvest this succulent, wild growing food plant have their traditional gathering areas well identified and watch for the tightly curled fiddlehead shape to start pushing up out of the wet ground.

The growth is rapid and the window of harvesting is fairly brief. The first harvest came into the Woodstock Farm Market cooler last week. By Friday, vendors had a good supply for sale. The cooler should be well stocked most of the time this next week.

There are not many places where a significant food crop can be found just for the harvesting. It’s like the St. John River Valley is a little piece of Eden. When you think of the labour and   resources that go into producing cultivated food crops, the fiddlehead fern is about the most cost effective crop possible. It’s truly a “gift” from the Earth.

Meanwhile the good stretch of dry weather has given field and garden planting a good boost. With the heavy snow melt a lot of moisture went into the ground, but the sun and wind of the last couple of weeks have thoroughly dried out the surface. Rhubarb is rapidly advancing and early crop greens are coming.

Spring is well on the way and the Woodstock Farm and Craft Market is well set for the new season. If you haven’t yet seen how the interior of the Market has changed over the last few months, come out for the mother-daughter tea on Saturday, or stop by anytime to view the transformation.

The Market is open six days a week 10 to 4 except Friday when it opens at 8. On the Friday Market Day, more vendor products are available and the outside barbecue and the kitchen café are in full operation.