Monday, May 24, 2010

Week of May 17 2010 : Soggy

(Here is a picture of our second stand of sweet corn. The first stand was damaged but not destroyed by the freeze. This stand was also were able to withstand several waves of thunder storms including hail. The third and fourth stands have been planted and are already emerging.)

Its a well known fact that the market farmer bylaws mandate lamenting the early season weather. In April, we had record highs. Earlier in May, we had a very low, low. Here in the valley we bottomed out at 27 degrees. That is not a frost, that is a freeze.

The cold weather was soon followed up with significant rainfall. In a few days we went from below average moisture to above average moisture. The problem? Remember the nicely plowed fields? Apparently primary tillage acts like a big sponge in a big tub. Nice absorbent soil in the middle of hard pan.

Now field work has been excessively delayed. We still need to form the raised beds. Which means we still need to lay the trickle irrigation lines and the plastic mulch. Which means we still need to transplant. So we have been busy watering and shuffling seedlings in and out of the garage. In an effort to minimize unnecessary labor, the garage door has been open more often.

Which produced an odd side effect, now we have a pair of purple martins nesting in our garage. Quick recap, we went from a rotary plow to a bird nest. The connection is obvious? (No).

In a sense, farming is like a game of chess. The grand masters must think several moves ahead. In farming, though, the impact is much less direct.

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