The nonprofit education farm Seed to Table is thrilled to join the Sisters Farmers Market on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fir Street Park. The farm’s booth offers the community crisp salad mix, sweet carrots, deep red beets, rainbow radishes, and beautiful plant starts.

Despite the cold long spring, the bounty is plentiful. This will be Seed to Table’s first year at the Sisters Farmers Market. The farm is excited to further our reach and help provide communities with fresh produce and student activities.

Spring on the farm brings out a lot of emotion. First, there is pure excitement as the fields and greenhouses come alive with patchworks of greens, purples, reds, oranges and every hue in between. The field will slowly reveal the characteristics of the hundreds of varieties we have swooned over all winter. Will the Happy Rich broccoli really produce by the first week in June? Do the Monte Gusto pole beans really grow to 12 feet high? Are the Ya Ya carrots truly the sweetest around?

Second, spring brings waves of anxiety reminding us that Mother Nature is running the show, not us. Our carefully crafted crop plan was delayed, then restructured, when a foot of snow blanketed the farm until April. While we were grateful for the water, we waited, and waited some more, to plant, squeezing the workload into shorter timeframes. Crowded greenhouses brought pests we had never seen before. Then came the rain, leaving us feeling like we had suddenly been transported to the west side of the Cascades. The wet weather caused seedlings to rot and allowed cabbage root maggots to thrive.

Spring in Central Oregon is just hard on farmers.

Lastly, spring brings an outpouring of determination. When one member of the Seed to Table team gets a little down, others of us are right there to look toward the light, point out the hidden beauties and remind us that we will persevere. Problems are quickly addressed by reaching out to our vast network of other farmers and researchers and, of course, by the team’s willingness to do whatever it takes. For me, these spring challenges lead to some of my most creative ideas, pushing me to constantly think outside of the box.

Okay, so enough with the challenges. In fact, we are gearing up to have our best season yet! While the snow has left us with a little less diversity these first few weeks, we have the sweet promise that summer will come on stronger than ever! I am grateful for every one of our 75 members who have joined in our local food journey this year. The Seed to Table team is excited to fill your fridge, feed your family and help you nourish yourselves! Guiding you along your local food journey is our goal.

Audrey Tehan is Seed to Table Oregon’s executive director.