Sunday, May 24, 2015

Rainy Days - a Mixed Blessing

Here it is - Memorial Day Weekend - and your farmer is actually inside and writing a blog post.  This is noteworthy because he has not seen the inside of his house or other building (unless it is the truck barn, poultry pavilion or high tunnel) much over the past week or two.  Most of the inside time has been spent viewing the inside of my eyelids!

So, it is rainy outside and there are no workers scheduled to be at the farm.  As a result, I am able to try to catch up on paperwork and get an informational blog post out there for everyone to enjoy.  Frankly, I think we needed this break, so the rain is welcome.  And, we have several things in the ground that would like the rain.  But, it is May, and we have so much to plant, weed and do outside that rain always makes us nervous.  I guess we'll just deal with it.

Iris Fest Postponement
The Iris Fest scheduled for tomorrow afternoon is being postponed.  The likelihood of more rain along with the mud from the pictures you will see below makes the timing less than optimal.  We're pretty certain most attendees do not want to stand around in an outbuilding looking at rain. We're also pretty certain that parents aren't all that keen about their children getting really muddy and then climbing into vehicles to go home. 

Stay tuned for rescheduling details.

Biiiiiig Gopher!
Once again, we have a pretty big mess on the farm this Spring.  This year, it is more by choice than some of our previous episodes.  We decided to put in frost free hydrants for the new high tunnel.  But, that has to happen before the building is up.  And, it required a great deal more digging than we originally anticipated.
Don't let the picture fool you...
 Speaking of the high tunnel.  It looks like our tentative build dates are around June 4-7.  We still need confirmation from the builders of the high tunnel kit and our foreman for the job.  So, we'll post as soon as we know.

It doesn't do it justice - but you get an idea of how deep the trench is.

The trench was our very own 'Grand Canyon' for a while there.  The rain on Wednesday delayed completion of filling it back in - much to our chagrin.  Now it may be a week or so before that can be completed.  The people putting in the line had to use a ladder to climb into the trench.  Ugh.

Raised Beds - Again!
We harvested a nice batch of radish from one of our raised beds for farmers' market this past week.  These raised beds have been a great addition to the farm since we put them into a service a couple of years ago.  But, some of the wood is starting to give way.  Tammy's parents came up with an alternative to using more wood.  We'll try to take a picture of it later and share it with everyone.

French Breakfast radish in captivity.  Hope you're ok with radish that isn't free range.
Trying to Make Planting More Efficient
We are trying out a Holland transplanter this year.  Hopefully, we can reduce the time for some of our planting.  And, perhaps, even more important, it would be nice to reduce the number of hours we crawl around on our hands and knees putting plants in the ground.  We just got help from Jeff Sage picking up a tool bar so we can put this thing on the tractor (Rosie), so once things dry out, we'll be trying the transplanter out.

Here's hoping this works out.
It isn't so terrible to be down on the ground doing work.  Some days, it is pretty pleasant.  But, I can attest to how sore my shins are today after some extensive contact with the soil.

Seedling Tray Dance
Every year, we move trays all over the place as we start, harden off, then transplant vegetables.  It's actually close to a full time job in itself.

Trays on heat mats and under grow lights.
I have to admit that I'm having a hard time right now trying to remember which day we did certain things this week.  So, I'll just mention things that happened and you'll just have to accept that I recorded them in our books and I don't want to look them up just now.

Earlier this week (I think it was this week), we had a major seeding session.  You see 8 trays in the picture above.  We planted somewhere between 80 and 100 of these in one day.  At an estimate, we emptied about 25-30 other trays as we transplanted into the ground this week.  Another batch of trays were emptied as the plants were transferred into pots. 

Busy Week
Ok, by the tone of this post, you might recognize that we aren't sure the time period I am writing about was exactly a week.  Consider this - if Rob, Tammy, Elizabeth and Anden all look at each other and ask - "Did we do that THIS morning or was the yesterday?" Then, it is likely we've just been pretty darned busy. 

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