Last weekend, we were finally able to plant in the garden. After receiving 2 1/2 inches of rain on May 11, it was dry enough to plant. In addition to the overly wet conditions, the weather was cold which made it difficult for the soil to dry in the fields.
With the variety of conditions that Mother Nature has presented, we knew that yet again we were racing the weather because the forecast was for thunderstorms. So when we went to bed on Sunday, we knew what we had in was what we were going to get in until later in the week.
We did receive 45/100 of rain on Monday. While we were grateful for the moisture (take a look at the National Drought conditions), we were thankful that we didn’t receive the 3 inches that others received – because it is getting late in the planting season. Our plans are to finish planting this weekend!
I will keep you posted on when deliveries will begin and will provide you with any calendar changes for pick-up and delivery. The projected weather forecast looks to present good growing conditions, but only time will tell.
You will notice strips of winter rye in the garden. We planted it last fall as a cover crop with the intent that it would help improve organic matter in our garden. Our experiment is to evaluate the differences between areas where the winter rye was planted vs where no winter rye was planted.
You may recall from an earlier post that we were quite surprised this spring when we pulled back a floating row cover to find spinach growing. After the record setting cold tempratures, I never expected anything would still be alive! The science experiment continues. We transplanted it into some pots to see how long this spinach lasts this growing season. The young leaves taste good, and the older leaves are more bitter.
Thanks to our neighbors Far-Gaze Farms we were able to till under the winter rye grass more quickly and efficiently in order to prepare the seed bed.
Thanks to another farmer neighbor, Beckman Farms, who had this handy small John Deere drag in his tree grove. This worked great to pull behind this old lawn tractor. Keith enjoyed this new found responsibility.
After the discing and dragging, the tiller went through the garden to reduce soil clumps so that the seeds could be covered adequately with soil for good germination. Note, ear protection is required when running this type of equipment on our farm.
After measuring out row spacing, planting began. Sam was busy planting four different kinds of onions.
We then began planting, a variety of flowers, lettuces, spinach, beets, kohlrabi, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, green beans, popcorn and ornamental corn.
We planted seven different types of potatoes. In the photo, at left is a Midnight Moon variety and on the right, a Purple Majesty. I simply love the gifts from the garden, and the beauty it provides on a plate for all of us to enjoy!
Planting potatoes is great exercise. Keith and Steve are covering up the deep trenches that are needed for the potatoes. Potatoes are planted in a trench about 4 inches deep. We have a trencher that we can attach to the tiller to dig the trench.
In addition to the activity in the garden, we have been hatching chicks at the boys’ school. What a great learning activity for the students to be “farmers” for a few weeks.
As I looked across the section this morning at about 6 a.m., I saw my neighbors already in the field planting trying again to beat Mother Nature. I thought it was important to note that while the equipment we use may be different, the end outcome is the same. No matter the size, farmers of all sizes and commodities have a desire to provide good quality products for the end consumer. Farmers all share an inborn fondness for the environment, their crops and their animals. It is difficult for those who have not experienced this to fully understand it. It may be best described as a love for what they do and an inherint desire to always succeed and to do their very best through the extreme circumstances we know will present themselves.