Monday, June 2, 2008

the ripeness of june

Today we pulled off the frost-cloth from the first row of summer squash, that we transplanted a few weeks ago from plants started in the greenhouse.  There were tons of flowers, buds, & even little baby squashes.  If that isn't a sure sign of summer, I don't know what is.
There were a bunch of weeds germinating, so I took the wheel-hoe to the sides of the bed, then a hand hoe for in between the plants.  Squash plants are watery & succulent-- quite strange creatures actually.  They have these horrible prickers that make it really unpleasant to touch with the bare hand, yet one casual swipe with your hoe (or as Nick would say, if you even look at them wrong) and they break off at the stem, brittle & tender.  Not that I broke any of them off by accident... of course not.   Right.
Can you spy the zucchini in this picture?

I spent the whole morning on the big tractor, rototilling fields A, B, E, & F.  Oh, and before doing that, I spread fertilizer on half of those beds.  A nice still morning with no wind to blow away that precious nitrogen.   Then Nick marked up a few beds with the other Cub tractor & we hand-seeded cucumbers & more squash, then covered them up with Reemay.
Look at this picture:
Can you imagine biting into a big juicy tomato?  Each of these little doinky sprouts will become a big sprawling plant that bears a bunch of tomatoes.  Hard to believe that succulent fruit starts out life in these black plastic trays, so vulnerable & puny.  Miracles, I tell you.
And did you know that sheep eat poison ivy?  I put them in this paddock next to the office this morning, and they went straight for the lush leaves-of-three vining up the brick wall.  We knocked down more for them, which they happily devoured.  Looks like we found ourselves an alternative to RoundUp.

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