Wednesday, April 2, 2008

...and we're off!

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax."
-Abraham Lincoln

This afternoon we took all the tools out of the barn, scraped off the rust & dirt with metal brushes, sanded down the wooden handles, & put the hoe & shovel blades to the grinder. We put linseed oil on the handles & they gleamed, begging to get out into the rocky fields again.

We worked on the crop maps, which was a complicated issue of looking at what was grown last year (total acreage: 6), the year before that, and what we plan to grow this year. More work on this tomorrow. We walked the fields, looking at mostly bare ground, some crop residue (kale stalks), and winter rye & sometimes vetch & clover cover crops. Some areas were lush due to earlier fall plantings, some were struggling due to late fall plantings & poor drainage. We talked about where we wanted peas & spring greens to go.

We got 4 huge piles of compost delivered, and more propane to heat the greenhouse. I love how Dave includes us in all of this planning stuff. Just basic stuff that we'll need to know for our future farm businesses.

In the morning we planted spinach in the greenhouse. Dave says he does transplants & direct seeding for spinach, and sometimes they turn out equally as well. But he says transplants always succeed.

Farmer Dave is spending lots of time showing us the correct "dance" techniques used for watering the greenhouse trays consistently. He makes sure he has enough hose for each table, positioned conveniently, then holds up the hose (with cheap plastic flat-spray head) and moves his feet but stays in the same position across the tables. It is something to see, to watch this 6'7" guy and the sweep of water pouring from his motionless arm. I hope to emulate it someday.

It was a brisk, sun-filled day, with 40mph wind gusts.
Last night there was a thunderstorm, complete with thunder & lightning & hard rain. Wow.

1 comment:

Dzeli said...

you're going to have to wear some really tall boots to fully emulate farmer dave. :-p