The farm is alive with Spring. As we move about the farm preparing for the season, there is flurry of growth followed quickly by the frantic buzzing of insects. The fruit trees are blossoming here at White Oak, with fragrant and colorful blooms visible throughout the farm, in the orchard and in between the annual beds. To stand beneath one of these trees is to be surrounded by the commotion of thousands of bees.
Below, the moist soil is a boon to the comfrey (Symphytum officinale L.), a perennial that is priceless on organic farms for its deep roots and prolific growth. It’s taproot acts as a dynamic accumulator, drawing up minerals and nutrients from deep in the soil. Through it’s fast and steady growth, it makes these nutrients available above ground via its leaves, which can be cut and used for mulch or steeped into a fertile tea. Comfrey must be placed carefully however, as it will spread gladly with any disturbance to its roots – so once it is established it is incredibly difficult to eradicate. At the base of out fruit trees it coexists happily by discouraging the growth of weeds, and can easily be cut and left in place as mulch.