despite the fact that i just dropped the roll of greenhouse plastic on my foot from six feet high and have a broken, swollen, purple toe, all is right as I watch water fall from the sky onto the field of sprouting cover crop. keep at it, rain. you are welcome here. just give me a little break later in the week or so to finish the greenhouse and till the other field for potatoes and fava. thanks.
today: took apart irrigation lines. broke a few, fixed them up. pull tractor out of barn, rototill (again!), say goodbye to grass. say goodbye to all those tiny sprouts who tried and tried, but were no match to the quick growing grass that suffocated and aborted them. so, fresh start, again.
next- buckets of vetch, peas, crimson clover, and rye. check. farmer strut down the freshly plowed fields, tossing seed into soft earth and stomping them down into a new home. the next part- so long and SO HOT! today, on the equinox, we harrowed the seeds in, raking them into a home just barely underground, snug as a bug. to harrow, used the handy wheel plow, wheeled through, few inches at a time, over the approximately half acre. that done, irrigation was set back up, and seeds on driest side of field were promptly watered in. there is another acre and half chiseled and disced, and waiting for rain to fall, to be then put into cover. irrigation supplies are just too expensive to do it all with the magic rain, waiting for the real thing for the remaining ground.
goodnight and goodluck seeds. may you grow tall and strong and smother out that flippin’ grass for good!!!
pasture seed strikes again. it was tilled in a few times prior to the seeding of our fall crops, but that green shade you see sprouting is not future salads, but your hoeing nightmare! the grass has sprouted in thickets and days before the crops have germinated – making it a nearly impossible situation to mitigate. that pasture grass- it is persistant – infact, it has seniority, the field has been in pasture for who knows how long. so why did I expect that I could till it in and it would never show it’s face again? of course it did! It is teasing me and has caused me to give in.
Cover crop it is! Cover crop, I’ve been secretly dreaming of you, more so even than those rows of arugula that might have been. Cover crop, I can’t wait for your crimson clover to appear! To get lost in your tangle. Please be exceptional! Please, crowd out that bully, the pasture grass, and kindly give it notice that it don’t grow here no more!
So cover crop it is, from now until early spring, and this may be a blessing dear soil, you will reap what I sow. Winter garden site will be expanded once the acorn squash come to maturity – allowing for a fall and winter-time of crop trials in this new soil, at a smaller scale, while the fields grow tall, tall, tall in vetch, rye, clover, peas.
car, you have been abused in the name of farming. for years you have helped me on my trips to and from farm to school, farm to home, all over this big state in the name of getting muddy, dusty, and all the in-betweens.
at the beginning, you were my gleaning mobile. never did i leave home without you packed with harvest bins, five-gallon buckets, and paper bags. i had a list and phone numbers, and i used them. found all those fruit trees unpicked, those fields left un-harvested, and we ran around, redistributed, found joy.
for years, i’ve thrown my muddy boots on your upolstered floors, industrial sized bags of salad mix picked up and brought to schools to turn into a salad for three hundred little mouths.
when we tended to the pigs up on that wind-swept hill, you carted around the big blue food drums, filled with fly infested, gooey composting veggies. score 1 for the pigs, 0 smelly car.
now, it’s hay bales and celery root piled floor to ceiling. future car, you will be delivering my own crops to school district kitchens, and who knows where else. here’s to more, more miles, my dear (farm) car.
barn, you were the best place to live in that late spring/early summer glory. every night, owls hooted, bats, incredibly, flew in the open side and out the place where a window once was, directly over the bed. mariachi music took turns with band practice as the distant sounds that lulled us to sleep. but oh the joy of reading by candlelight, bonfire dinners, and watching the sunrise from my place in bed.
now, barn, you are farm-central. office is in one wing, soon to be packing room, storage in the other. all around you is starting to sprout, to grow. poppies and nastursiums on one side, the field irrigated and seeded to the driveway side. little tree from seed from you dear friends, it too slowly grows, tall and strong.
and don’t forget dustbowl lane! planted with a spade and crossed fingers, you continually surprise.
zinnias you are doing allll-right this summer. remember the long days spent in the greenhouse double transplanting you? you probably don’t remember, you were too young. you’re happy now though, and that’s great. good job. you are beautiful and abundant.
…Is one way i like to think about planting days. teensy seeds are put in soft earth, given a prayer and a hoot, and rained down upon. they are born upon this new field, they swell up, I swoon. they grow up, I watch and tend in loving admiration and awe. little seeds, today is the first day of the rest of your lives. welcome and GOOD LUCK!
In the freshly amended and tilled field today went arugula, mizuna, kale – all intended to be harvested young, six varieties of lettuces – to head up and go to school salad bars (!!!), baby mixed lettuces for cut and come again, and beets. this is the first week’s planting. more, more, to come in successions. fall’s upon us, full moon is UP.