Friday, May 3, 2013

Reversal of Fortune

Of course, everyone in the Upper Midwest is sharing pictures and thoughts regarding the May storm we've been enjoying (???).  So, why should we be any different?

Actually, it also goes towards sharing with everyone what we're up to.  So, here we go!

The nice warm weather earlier in the week was appreciated.  However, most of our fields are still too wet to plant in.  But, this area has an old drain tile system under it, so it was drier than the rest.  We had a bunch of plants that really NEEDED to go into the ground, so we put them on the fabulous yellow trailer, got out Barty the tiller and away we went!

 We both admit that we're out of practice for this amount of crawling, but we got it done nonetheless.  The trays remaining were either deemed to be too young to put in easily (especially when we are tired) or were plants to be held back for possible sale.  Please note that the fabulous yellow car is being used to bring back all sorts of things.  Isn't that ... um... well.... fabulous?
 Straight ahead you can see some Amish Deer Tongue lettuce seedlings.  Look well - because we didn't see a number of these the next morning.  It seems some REAL deer tongues tasted most of these that appear in the foreground.  When a deer tastes a seedling, the seedling is gone.  Ah well.

We spent time putting up barricades the next day and the deer have stayed out since.  I meant to get a picture of that.  Maybe later.

The thing about sweet corn.  Especially sweet corn where you leave the stalks for snow catching and wildlife... it doesn't break down fast enough to give you good seedbeds for some of the things we want to plant.  You would think the farmer might adjust his rotation a bit to deal with this.
Oh wait, he did, but then he had to modify it again because of last year's spraying.  Hm.
In any event, Rob spent quality time with a rake.  This is the same area you see with the tilled area and little plants in the pictures at the top.

 Some of the fields in the east have some cleaning as well.  We didn't pull up all of the drip tape from last season.  I have an excuse....some of it was frozen to the ground once I got to these fields.  So, there they have stayed, until now.  The dead plant matter you see are Brussels sprouts, broccoli, romanesco, kale and cauliflower.  Some of these haven't broken down enough and the potatoes need to go in this field.  So, I pulled them and they'll go to the compost.
The second picture shows an angle shot where you can see the next two plots over.  The second plot was cucumber and peas.  We pulled another 2400 feet of drip tape out of there and mowed some of the residue to help it break down.
The pile of straw you see in the far edge is from the third field.  Our straw didn't break down enough either, so I'm pulling some of it out as well.  And...there's drip tape there as well.  I'm glad the next four plots were already cleaned up.
Then, we got up on May 3 and found windows on the north side that looked like this.  
 And, by playing with the camera on manual focus, I could change the picture above to this.  I'm not sure either one looks very inviting to go outside.  But, chores needed doing.  So, I took the camera with me on a quick investigative tour before I fed birds and cats, etc.

 The black raspberries are not entirely sure what hit them.  I suspect they'll be fine, but one never knows until you do.

There is some veg inside that there high tunnel.  I know it.  The irony of this is that we pulled in the remay cloth that we use to help insulate the plants in the high tunnel from colder weather.  They all should be fine in there since they are all cold hardy crops right now.  Still, they are moving slower than we think they should because we've had a good deal less sun than we usually get. And, that's recognizing that Spring is typically fairly cloudy.  I won't be rolling up the sides on the tunnel for a while, there be some weight on them that won't allow it.  Plus, the plants inside don't want me to!

One of our early signs of Spring on the farm are when the Pasque flower blooms.  I noted that it was blooming on Tuesday (during the warmer weather - the time from the pictures at the top of the post), but I failed to take a photo of it then.  Well, it is still there.  Hang in there little friend!  We still want to see you bloom more.

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