This morning was sunny & promising. We have so much work to do! We have lots of plants scheduled to go in the ground this week, and not many ready, available beds to plant them into! Mostly we are fighting with the rye cover crop--- it first needs to be mowed, then plowed under, then rototilled, and after a few weeks of decomposition (ideally), a final rototill right before planting. If these steps are scrunched together, then there will inevitably be leftover chunks of ryegrass still trying to grow. When you want to grow tomatoes or beans instead, rye becomes a weed. But yet it is such an integral source of fertility for the farm.
Nick spent the whole day mowing down all the rye. It was 2-3 feet tall, and the height we mowed to was mostly 2-3 inches if we're going to plow soon, and 4-5 inches if we want it to grow back some more before tilling it under for a later planting.
First I went over some fields recently plowed & rototilled (but still full of rye chunks), with the implement shown below:It's a chisel plow, and it loosens up and aerates the soil to a depth of about 18", making a nicer, smoother rototilled bed afterwards!
I got lots of practice driving in straight lines with the big tractor, and I feel much more comfortable with those huge wheels. Check out the "S" fields:
We took out 4 tables of plants from the greenhouse for an afternoon of "hardening off"... the wind & cooler weather prepares them for their upcoming transplantation!
Some plants are still little, like these rainbow chard (above) and my own experiment-- okra (below).
Meanwhile, Nick has aquired a free '89 VW jetta, and is working on restoring it to functionality... he's pretty darn excited.
I've been taking little adventures to check out the local flora of springtime:
Jack-in-the-Pulpit! And blooming Garlic Mustard: