Wow! it’s been 6 weeks since my last post – many things have changed, some not.
It looks like a different world out my window: spring has matured into the abundance of summer – it’s amazing how much plants grow with plenty of moisture. Our cool weather crops, especially the greens and brassicas are loving it. What has not changed is that we continue to have lots of rain – so much that it is challenging to get garden and farm work done.
In the gardens, we can keep up. We have raised beds and/or heavily mulched paths so that we can plant, weed, and harvest – unless the soil is really wet. We are harvesting leafy greens, asparagus, and now, strawberries. With 4 interns, visitors, and members, we get a lot done and the place is looking quite spiffy.
It’s a different story in our fields. In the last six weeks, we have had about 6 days when we could work the fields – this is the season to plant our annual spring crops. We’ve been in a pattern where it almost dries out – just before it rains again. About 10 days ago, we had about 3 days in the fields, in which we worked down green manure crops and also managed to transplant about 1.5 acres of sorghum. We had another 3 days in the fields a few days ago and transplanted the other 1.5 acres of sorghum, and planted popcorn, field corn (for cornmeal), pinto beans, black beans, yellow & brown mustard, and tillage radishes (to harvest the seed). Whew!
We had 2″ of rain yesterday – I feel lucky we got our field crops planted. We had less to plant this year: less sorghum because we have not been selling as much, and we have not had access to about a third of our fields due to the creek washing out a bridge. The county has been working on replacing it but have been hampered by the weather as well. Hopefully, they will get it done before wheat harvest in early July.
In some ways, I feel lucky – to have all our crops planted (wheat, spelt, and green manure crops were planted last fall); on the other hand, I don’t quite trust it: when we have 2″ of rain immediately after planting, we often have to replant – seeds do not germinate well in cool water logged soils.
Ah – the joys & trials of being dependent on the weather; an example are the strawberries we are eating now: plenty of rain=lots of berries (yum!); too much rain = some mold/ferment just before they are truly ripe.