Monday morning at 5 a.m. I donned my flashlight and wheelbarrow and filled it with plants and organic soil goodies and headed out to the pasture to put plants in the ground in anticipation of the moved up schedule in the rain.
See, I had last heard the rain wasn't supposed to hit till Tuesday - then, Sunday night as I retired, it was supposed to come at midnight – it was too late and I was too worn out to go back out and do it. I had messed with the irrigation system all day long and never heard the update - and it didn't really "feel" like rain yet. So much for my built in weather predictor this weekend. Way off! Anyway, when I heard I had another window of opportunity to get some crops in the ground before the rain hit, I jumped at it. I have had some seedlings in 2 inch pots for weeks that were very ready to be planted. Mostly they were some warm season things like tomatoes and cucumbers, but that's ok. We may still have enough warm weather ahead to harvest a bit of summer’s goodies, too. The rest were some poor squash plants that already had flowers on them. They really wanted to get planted badly!
So, here I was out in the middle of the pasture digging and planting my little seedlings. Nary a soul was in sight, and it was pretty quiet as well; just the faint sound of my roosters back at the barns alerting everyone of the soon to come sunrise. Then, a flash of lightening. No thunder, so I kept going. Then, about 10 minutes later, another flash and a few drops of rain. Thunder - and then the rain came down! Wonderful, steady, gentle rains. It is amazing how it soaked in just perfectly and even helped to melt many of those chunks we started out a bit concerned about. That is what the farmer from the feedstore told me would happen, and sure enough it did! That sandy red clay just falls apart when it is wet. All you have to do is barely touch it and it mashes.
Life on the farm is kinda laid back, as the song goes, but, in just a matter of a few days, it can go from a crawl to a race to get things in the ground. Before the irrigation system was ready, we couldn't do much more than hoe ground, turn over weeds and dream of what the crops were going to look like and where they'd go.
Then, all of a sudden, you can get water to the rows and it is time for the rain to come and....let the planting begin! I must say that generally I am a pretty early riser most days. But Monday morning when that clock went off and it was the voice of the weatherman saying the rain was still 2 hours away - I shot up out of bed, got dressed, grabbed that flashlight and loaded up much faster than I've ever rushed out of the house for any regular job, that is for sure. Ah, life on the farm….
Eat Your Food - Naturally!