This past week the sun kept shining, the soil kept drying, and I was able to get many seeds and all the transplants (those that were ready to go, anyway) into the ground. At the end of the week I was tired and sore – and I’m sure my parents were, too – but relieved to have made progress. It rained on Friday night, forcing us to take a break … a welcome break. There’s always more that I wish had gotten done, but I can’t complain when I really think about all that was accomplished.
The week started with seeding of the first snap peas, which is very important as it seems to be almost everyone’s favorite veggie. On Monday evening, I put the collard greens and kale into the ground. I hoped to be transplanting these crops in late April, so May 13 felt pretty pathetic, but it could be worse! I spent the next couple of days transplanting, transplanting, seeding, and transplanting. On Thursday and Friday, I spotted tiny leaf lettuce and spinach plants that I had seeded last week (in some sandy soil that dries out faster) finally poking out of the soil. Thank goodness.
Sometime toward the end of the week, I looked up and noticed for the first time the light green cloud of new leaves in the trees. I also saw three crows chasing a raven through the air above the fields. On Friday, I saw a porcupine crossing the road in front of me on Highway 23 as I headed back out to the farm from Duluth. I slowed down and stopped to take what ended up being a crappy photo of his rear end with my phone. What interested me was that the porcupine never altered its pace as I approached in the car, slowed down, and stopped. I guess I can understand why a porcupine might feel pretty invincible.
My progress in the field sometimes seems slower than the porcupine’s (think turtle-speed), but it is much, much faster than it was the first couple years I was farming thanks to my parents, Craig & Jean. It’s almost as if I have a magic wand – I say that a particular task needs to be done, and it happens. My dad has been taking care of all the field prep, spreading compost where needed, disking and tilling – a real gift to me, the clumsy tractor operator. While I was transplanting in the west field on Tuesday, he was prepping the middle field. On Wednesday I transplanted in the middle field while he prepped some beds in the east field … and so forth. He also keeps the piggies happy, and are they ever – their lives seem completely stress-free from my perspective: smelly, but content.
My mom helped me a bit with transplanting onions and Brassicas and did the entire second round of lettuce– 244 plants – by herself. She has mainly been taking good care of the greenhouse, watering, weeding, seeding and potting for me. Unlike the tractor work, I do enjoy that stuff, but I’m more than happy to hand over the reins at this point so I can take care of other things. My interest has waned a bit, but my mom still seems delighted that the seeds germinate and the potted plants shoot up and out in the sun. I have a feeling the plants appreciate her enthusiasm as much or more than I do.