Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rain and rest

It's raining again! But this time I welcomed it with open arms as a refreshing break. We had a nice full week of sunshine and warm weather, and got almost caught up with our planting and plowing. We did our first cultivation with our Farmall Cub, and started irrigating.
We plowed all the fields that were supposed to be plowed a few weeks ago, including a new field across the street. The plus side of waiting another few weeks is we got extra growth from our winter cover crop, rye and vetch. It was over three feet tall, and we turned it under the soil to compost right on the spot. Now we have to wait another week or so before we plant anything into it, until the rye decomposes slightly. This means more delay for the onions, potatoes, peppers, and other crops waiting to go in the ground. But the extra organic matter will benefit the vegetables, as well as the nitrogen that the hairy vetch fixes into the soil.
The ground was just about perfect moisture, and the plowing was easy and satisfying.
Meanwhile, as the blazing sun baked the freshly tilled beds we've been planting on, there was plenty of work to be done keeping these baby plants alive! The tender lettuce that we take from the greenhouse and plunk into the ground needs immediate watering or it will wilt in the almost eighty-degree heat. The tiny carrot, parsnip, and beet seeds we direct seed into the field need irrigating almost every day to keep them from drying out until they germinate. Stressful times! We try to stay patient and calm with our irrigation work or it gets quickly frustrating.
Our interns, Colleen, Tristan, and Kim, are getting better at rolling out drip tape lines, hooking up valves, and fixing leaks. It's hard work in the heat, and we all got a little sunburned. We planted celeriac, potatoes, scallions, herbs, and more lettuce, greens, and carrots. We have well over an acre of vegetables planted so far, and the farm looks huge and beautiful.
We even managed to pick dandelion flowers for making dandelion wine! Now we take a few days off to rest up for the next big planting haul-- early next week maybe? Stop by to see some busy farmers when the soil dries up again.

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