Joys and Sorrow

25 03 2010

Finally, the tractor support came in the middle of the month. The soil at the new place is really sandy, and in a super sunny location. It drys out quickly, and there was a window this month to carve a couple rows. My friend Ted, who has a tractor, drove it down from his property up the road. Three hours later I was returning the tractor and tiller. I was overjoyed with efficiency. They were right, tractors were made for a reason.

.First tilling
The tractor carved 5 ft wide beds. I have 4 ft wide beds in my farm plan, but I will have to work with what I have. I immediately planted the beds with rows of spinach, beets, turnips, carrots, radishes. There were enough beds carved in this first tillage for this first round of direct seeding, then a second similar round of direct seeding, as well as a large round of brassica and lettuce transplants.

This Earthway seeder is nice, but not very precise.

I have a greenhouse full of the second and third round of seedlings, and I am about ready to start on the fourth round of lettuce. I am keeping up the schedule of planting lettuce every twoish weeks for the rest of the year.  I got to make some green.  I planted the first round of tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse.  Even though it still doesn’t have any endcaps on it,  the field gets so warm in the mornings, and it should be enough to germinate these warm weather crops.  Those transplants were then covered with another round of plastic to help insulate them from the cold and heat them up even quicker in the morning.

After the event of direct seeding my first round, I made bet on mother nature providing some moisture.  I lost.  The irrigation had to be lined up on the field, the pump in the river reset,  and the water inlet cleared of debris so I could water the seeds in.  All of this was new to me. But after a days worth of work we had water flowing to the field again.  Everything seemed happy.  The next day I came out and turned the irrigation on, and it started up right away.  Upon walking up the field I noticed a river making its way over the remay covering the peas, and across all the rows I direct seeded.  A line had popped out in the middle of field and cut a foot deep trench in my peas, sprayed dirt all over the remay, and destroyed a bunch of my rows beyond that.  I quit farming for the rest of the day. A 10 hp pump can do a lot of damage.

I came back and cleaned up the mess.  Moved the remay, replanted as best as I could, and fixed the pipe.  I check the joints everyday now before I start the pump.  Good ole trial by fire.  Then just today, I noticed the gophers; they have been eating my garlic.  This is not going to be easy.  I must rid the farm of them.

There were peas planted there.

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