Now, we don't get up at a terribly obscene (in our view) hour, but we don't sleep in either. A little hint about day-ranging poultry. They get up when the sun does and only have so much patience before you have to let them out. If you've never been given a verbal dressing down by an angry hen before...
Mornings remind us how much we need water to sustain life. The broilers need water, the hens need water, the hen chicks need water, the ducks need water, the turkeys need water, the cats need water, Rob needs a shower, all the plants in pots or trays need water - those pots and trays are located in multiple places on the farm. And...those transplants you put in late yesterday. You know - the 800 or so summer squash/zucchini plants? Ya, it didn't rain, so they need water too. And, those cucumber transplants look like they need something too. Hmmmm.
It is amazing how many things on the farm are now classified as "chores." In our mind, a chore is something you have to do *every* day - usually twice a day, with the second one often being the reverse of the first. For example, open up the high tunnel, close down the high tunnel. Let the birds out, put the birds in. And, on days like today, water everything....twice.
Another thing that we're getting used to (and maybe better at) is being prepared for our summer workers. Anden and Jordan typically work Monday through Thursday and arrive at 8:30am. Sometimes we have an emergency 'weeding crew' for the morning hours. Part of the morning 'chores' is to be prepared for whatever it is our crew will be doing each day. This week has been pretty good - we've been on top of that particular item. But, what does one do on a day when you are having a hard time telling YOURSELF what should be done?
One thing can change how a day looks. Answer this: Is today a CSA Farm Share Distribution Day.
No. Okay! We need to get everything *other than* picking done today (unless it is later in the season, then the picking never stops - we hope). (****note - we'll do "yes." some other blog post*****)
A good example was Wednesday this week. We had the larger crew for a good portion of the day. As a result, we saw some onion rows get weeded. And when we say rows, we mean rows (200 foot long). And to give the crew credit, they were pulling GRASS in those onion rows. We hope none of them had nightmares afterward.
The tomato plot was weeded in its entirety. The drip tape was untangled and buried where it belongs. Every row was wheel hoed and the nasty Canadian thistle we hurt by wheel hoeing was raked up and taken to the compost pile. That's one hefty accomplishment. Thanks Anden, Jordan, Haley Jo and Katelyn!
Rob reminded himself that he needs to use the wheel hoe a bit more *each day* rather than trying to do an entire field in one day. But, when it needs doing and the time you have to do it is now...
Once the workers leave for the day (4pm or 5pm depending) we usually take a short break unless we're trying to finish a particular project. Then, we normally take on one more project before we begin our night time chores. This Wednesday's chore was tilling the rows for the aforementioned 800 summer squash and zucchini plants. And, we decided that, while we were at it, we'd direct seed the next succession at the same time.
Two hours. 1200 row feet planted. Cool.
At any time of year, most of the evening chores happen at or around dusk. If you are thinking as you read this, you are realizing that this is a less than optimal situation. In June, it makes 'knocking off early' impossible. In late September it means we're losing alot of work time because we have to get the chores done before we're ready to stop!
He must be a farmer. Never happy with anything.
Hope you enjoyed the ramblings with respect to a day in the life...