Today's high temperature was over seventy degrees. I saw the first mosquito, a robin gathering dry grass for a nest, five deer, three woodchucks, four woodpeckers, one rabbit, I wore a T-shirt at 7pm, and we tuned up the plow. My neighbor Jack has generously let us borrow it for the third year, and has coached me through the ins and outs of coulter repair, field adjustment, and soil moisture.
We hooked up the old plow and drove out to the fields to try it out. I went about twenty feet into the field and stopped, got off the tractor, and dug my hands into the soil. Still a bit too wet. It was truth that I didn't want to hear or believe. More plowing could wreck the soil. I thought about all the CSA members expecting their spring vegetables May 30th... argh, these decisions! I stood there pressing clumps of soil into balls, and felt defeated. You just can't negotiate with the ground-- it determines the whole game. So we stopped.
The heat tomorrow will build more, and then thunderstorms are forecast for all day tomorrow. Hopefully we won't be under a heavy cloud and they'll just blow over us... then in a few days I can get back out there on the tractor and try plowing again. Meanwhile the greenhouse is almost overflowing, and there are hundreds of chard, kale, and lettuce plants ready to go in the ground. If only the ground were ready for them! We will probably have to pot up some of these plants, to give them bigger space to grow in, until the field is ready. The time is soon, no doubt. The spring peepers are singing at the top of their lungs.