Wednesday, April 23, 2008

a learning curve

So after all the gentle loving care that goes into raising these tiny seedlings in the greenhouse & watering them carefully every day, we fling them up on these tray-holders on the back of tractor & put them at the mercy of the transplanter.

First we used Dave's new wooden punch-tool to loosen up the cells, to make them easier to pull out. Then from these seats we can yank them out, & drop them into these spinning carousel things that put them right into the ground for us! No bending over!

And Judy dropped by to volunteer! We are incredibly thankful for her help all day, as it allowed us to fill all three of the seats, with Dave driving the tractor.

First we did a test-run with some extra chinese cabbage. We had a lot of adjusting of bolts to do, raising & lowering different parts to get the depth right & the plants seated nicely in the ground.

Then we planted kohlrabi & lettuce! About 5,000 plants!

I even got to drive the new tractor a little! It's pretty hard to keep perfectly straight when the wheels are so huge you can't hardly see where they touch the soil. But it definitely is a smooth ride with a lot of power.

Okay, so the machine wasn't totally perfect, and we had to go back through the row & correct some plants--- some were buried, some were sideways, and some got bunched up because a rock got in the way. But there was a lot of us & it didn't take long.

The scallions went in really well, we hardly had any corrections to make on them.

And finally, we watered everything in. It was in the 80's today, pretty warm for mid-April. I was thirsty & I could empathise with the lettuce on the verge of wilting. But I think it will perk up by the morning, and start sending down those roots.

We also seeded 2 or 3 rows of greens & watered those in as well. We accomplished quite a lot today, and I think about how nice it will be to eat a fresh salad sometime soon, and about all the people who will share & appreciate in this bounty.

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