Well this has already been a better week. We actually had four consecutive days of warm weather and sunshine. It was too wet to get into the field at the end of last week to finish planting the farm crew headed to town to work on the roof. I am always surprised to find out new things about the crew. You sort of take for granted assuming you really know someone one just because you work with them every day during the week. It was Rey’s turn to surprise me last week. While we were on the roof brainstorming ideas as to how to keep the compost and mulch from running off the bed every monsoon season, Rey decided to tell me he was an expert carpenter. Well heck ya Rey!! The funny part was that he didn’t really come out and say it. We were doing measurements and Rey would chime in saying don’t forget you have to make one of those ends 3/4 ” longer than the other. Finally we got it figured out that we had an expert in our midst. Hours later there were all kinds of power tools (which I love), saws and drills. Within a day Rey, Justin and myself had built a beautiful wood container edge to hold the beds in place and to prevent soil runoff. The new design for the roof is complete and now we are just waiting for things to grow. It is beautiful and super efficient, with the irrigation working perfectly!!
Yeah, yeah… I’m a day late. We’ve been busy and I was waiting for a rainy day!
I would like to tell you a story this week about a little farmer named Annie. Annie farms vegetables for a really great company called Hendrick House. Annie grows tomatoes, peppers, watermelon and lettuce. It is hard for Annie to grow vegetables in the winter because she lives in a place that gets very very cold. Annie needed to fix this problem so she decided to apply for a grant which would help give her money to afford more things she needed.
Annie ended up getting the grant and Hendrick House allowed her to buy two greenhouse tunnels so she could grow her lettuce all year long.
Unfortunately, a big bad gust of wind (several big gusts of wind) came across the farm and huffed and puffed and blew her greenhouse tunnels down.
Then, balls of ice fell from the sky with heavy rain and the little greenhouse tunnels weren’t strong enough to survive. They came crashing to pieces. (Violently! Rebar was bent in 1/2 and thrown several feet across the farm.)
The poor tomato plants that were planted in the greenhouse tunnels were smushed! (We lost over 200 tomato plants.)
Annie and her friends; Justin, Terrin and Rey were very very sad.
After the big storm everyone helped to pick up all the pieces, much like Humpty Dumpty, except no-one felt like kings.
Annie walked down each of the paths looking at all of her plants. She was so sad because the big gust of wind (several big gusts of wind) had created a turbo blaster of sediment that hurt her plants and made them sick.
Annie told her boss and he was very sad as well BUT he put his hand on Annie’s shoulder and said “Don’t worry Annie! We will figure out a way to make this better.” Annie instantly brightened up and got back to work.
Moral of this story….. things could always be worse, I guess.
Hello Summer! Technically I guess the official start of summer isn’t for several more weeks but now that the rain has stopped and the temperatures have started warming up, why not say it’s the unofficial start?! I have to apologize readers for this blog post. . . we have been so busy the last week it completely slipped my mind to create a great arsenal of photos for today’s blog. This week will be a little light on the creative picts.
The biggest news of the week is that our caterpillar tunnel is up!! We put the ribs up a couple of weeks ago but it was too windy to “skin” the tunnels. *Skinning means covering with plastic. Hendrick House allowed me to purchase two tunnels instead of just one and I cannot even begin to express my excitement upon receiving the go-ahead for that. Due to the plot map already being planned out for the season, and some of the plants seeded in the greenhouse, it made the most sense for the tunnels to be end on end of each other rather than being side by side, which means we made one long 14ft x 200ft tunnel instead of two 14ft x 100ft tunnels. We received the tunnels via kit from our friends at Farmer’s Friends LLC. The kits were fairly easy to assemble (although I will say their youtube video was super deceiving when showing two men casually putting the plastic on the tunnel). I ordered something called wiggle wire to attach the two ends of the tunnel together. When putting up any type of tunnel it is best to check the forecast and remember wind speed when going through the planning process. The first day we had a couple liftoffs like we were parachuting and did not go at all like the youtube video portrayed it to go. 🙂
The boys and I are planting away. We have our full crew now that Rey is with us. It is nice having everyone back. In the last two days we have planted almost an entire acre. It is great to have a returning crew that knows the work load, doesn’t have to be trained and is happy to be outside!!
Well who would have guessed since our last check in that the temperatures would have dropped to a consistent 39/40F at night with rains that just don’t seem to stop? Who knew that February would be warmer than May this year?! The boys and I were getting ready to invest in kayaks and swap all of our plants for one big rice crop. I am glad I restrained myself from planting early. . . well, too early :).
The farm boys are back and we are laughing already, especially when Terren had to fit into my hoodie to stay warm *note the above photo!! Justin and Terren started yesterday and the only one we are missing is Rey, who will start after the semester. Despite all of the rain we have been having in the last week, we were able to assemble our irrigation at the farm meaning it is time to plant! Even though we have had a lot of rain I do not want to trust the weather to water the transplants in.
I couldn’t believe how quickly were able to lay out the lay flat and insert an extra line with valves for an additional turnaround for the mower/ tiller this year. Because we were organized from last year and Justin and Terren already knew what they were doing we cut down the time to set up irrigation from two days to four hours. Alright, Alright, Alright!
Our caterpillar tunnels have come in and we are in the process of setting them up. Sorry irrigation timer on the roof…… the cat tunnels are my new favorite toy! With the 30mph winds today it was too windy to cover them with plastic but I hope to have them finished and ready to go by the end of the week.