Sunday, April 18, 2010

April Showers on the Farm

Farmer Jack and his nephew, farmer Larry, bring out the "big guns" to get more rows ready for warm season planting after a wet winter kept JD out of the fields to keep the weeds cultivated.

As I listen to the rain gently falling outside, I am happy. After all of that rain we endured this past fall and winter, I wondered if I could be happy to see it rain again, but it is in perfect timing this round. Many of our warm season things are in the ground and I'm sure they are welcoming this drink from Above and the cooler temps are good for the cool season things still to harvest and enjoy.

The Swiss Chard, collards, beets, carrots, radishes, lettuces, green mustard and a single row of broccoli the rabbits missed (whew), are enjoying this spring season. The tomatoes are in with the cucumbers, melons, some zucchini and soon peppers go in, gonna try some watermelon this year and even that popcorn I wanted to try will go in out near the onions this week. Summer squash, winter squash, and if it ever warms up enough to get enough of them germinated, I'll plant eggplant, too. I love eggplant!

The Irish potatoes are finally popping up so we may get some after all - was really afraid they'd all drowned but it looks like only one variety rotted out and the rest were just treading water. We replanted where the yellow finn failed and will see if we can at least get some "new" potatoes out of this late planting before it gets hot out. Work share members Paula and Jake showed no mercy to the weeds in the potato patch yesterday - great job!

The summer onions are sure enjoying the drink and soon we can thin out and have some "spring" onions.

Someone had asked for us to grow green beans and I hadn't planned that but I have some seeds we'll try. The two varieties of beans we tried didn't do well for us last year and I'm not sure why so we'll just try a different variety and let them grow up the trellis after the snow peas which are still pretty small but a few of the plants that made it through the winter are producing. Just enough to munch on as you walk by.

The strawberries that survived the monsoons of this past winter are blooming and starting to fruit. Not a ton of them by any means, but our CSA potluck may be a good time to graze....

Part of our warm season garden area
just freshly bedded up and ready for planting this week.
After Larry and Jack got done plowing and tilling the ground with the big tractor, I was able to bed up the area and will get it laid out with drip tape and start planting as soon as Monday, if the beds aren't too wet after this rain. The soil usually drains pretty well and it was dry enough for long enough that I think we're back in good shape for normal drainage again. I just hope it came down gently enough not to wash out the beds and need them re-raised. If I have to get the tractor back out there, it will delay things a few days. April is the month to get as much as you can in the ground and I'm working as much as I can to get that done.

Our irrigation control system was fried during a storm over the winter. Herb says that lightening must have struck nearby as our circuit board is toast. He's got to re-build it now and until then when I water I'm forced to stink up the place with a gas pump. We'll get back up and running soon I think. Herb wants to rebuild the thermometer and other fun gadgets, too, so we can have our own little weather monitoring set up out here that you'll be able to see on line.

We've had our share of ups and downs, late starts and set backs, but this spring seems to be agreeing with farming so far and I'm looking forward to sharing a bountiful harvest soon with my CSA family.

Eat Your Food - Naturally!

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