I tried pulling plastic last week. And when I say “tried” I mean I felt like I was trying to drill a hole through an asteroid with Bruce Willis. We are 3″ below the average rainfall for the month of October. Ordinarily I would use the electric tractor from the student farm to lift the edges of the plastic, which saves a lot of labor on your back. Once the edges are exposed then you simply pull the plastic and drip down the length of the bed. Being that the ground was a concrete block, the tiny motor on the electric tractor burned out trying dig through the ground. OK, shovel time!!! I was at the north end of the bed ready to throw my entire body weight on the top of the shovel to get it in the ground and just as I leapt from the ground, smashing into the 1″ diameter of the head of the shovel, it ricocheted of the top of the ground and soon I was laying flat on my back. Yes, digging was not going to be an option. I regrouped, looking around to make sure no one saw me then tried again. The shovel didn’t even make it one inch into the ground. I ended up asking a farmer to come help me with a shovel implement. This was the hardest time I have ever had during clean up. I am hoping when the farmers go to chisel the field there isn’t a bunch of garbage buried beneath the earth’s crust!
The only thing left in the field after harvesting the last bed of parsnips, broccoli and kale. After waiting what seemed like FOR-EV-R for the parsnips to be ready, I finally dug them out yesterday. I was disappointed with how they turned out. I had high hopes for these because they are one of my favorite vegetables. Unfortunately, they turned out similar to the carrots in that they were quite spindly. This could not have been caused by weeds because the bed was completely weed free. By the time they were in the ground everything slowed down including weed growth (one of my favorite times of the year) :). I’ve thought about this and I’m pretty sure that because they were grown in cells their root systems became twisted before they could be planted in the field. That plus slow to non existent germination I am not sure that I will try this crop again.
I mowed down the broccoli patch yesterday after harvesting almost 40 lbs of beautifully sour smelling florets. (Sour in a good cabbagey way). Every time I am on a tractor with a bucket I can’t help but sing “I need a hero. I’m holding out for a hero til’ the end of the night. He’s gotta be strong and he’s gotta be fast and he’s gotta be fresh from the fight”. Anyway, luckily there are no other tractors in sight so I don’t also have to fight the urge to play chicken. I got off on a Footloose tangent…… back to broccoli… I mowed down the beds which made it easier to pull up the landscape fabric. The date has been set to go back into the kitchen and next week will be my final farm blog post. I might try to hijack the blog back to show you the other side of the the spectrum. What happens when the food is harvested and goes into the kitchen?