Monday, July 15, 2013

Rain! Rain! Rain!

Many people have been asking me, “How is all this rain affecting things on the farm?” I’ve been telling people I’m JUST beginning to get nervous. Up to a point, rain is good, it helps the crops grow fast, and means we don’t need to irrigate. However, it’s now getting to be SOooo rainy, that we are seeing a few signs of over saturation. Peppers, tomatoes and eggplants are showing minor signs of rot and disease. Nothing seems alarming yet, but we are keeping a close eye on these problem areas. Wetness encourages the spread of disease, as it is a hospitable environment for fungus and bacteria to spread.
Wet soil is not good to disturb, since working wet soil can cause compaction and degrade soil structure and soil ecology.  As a result all this rainy weather has made it difficult to till our beds on schedule. Right now, we are turning under many spring crops and trying to get those beds ready for plantings that will be ready in the fall. A week ago we had a stretch of three days (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) that were dry enough to work our soil with the tractor, and that is all I did for those three days in order to catch up! Mondays are harvest days and I was really impressed that Emma (farm apprentice) and the rest of the crew were able to get the whole harvest done without me- thank you Monday crew!
Another difficulty brought about by the rain is simply planning the day! Not only has the weather been wet, but it has been variable and hard to predict. Our days are packed and we take each morning to plan out the day’s activities in order to most efficient with our time and properly prioritize all of our time sensitive work. This weather has proven to make those plans difficult to follow and everyone has had to be particularly flexible out of necessity.  But of course, every time you change the plan, it slows down the day and adds a little inefficiency to change gears. On that note, I am grateful for the upcoming volunteer day Sunday (yesterday by the time you read this), and I hope to be able to feel a little more “caught up” with some extra helping hands.
On another note, I want to thank the die-hard you-pickers who have been out in the rain to harvest their flowers, herbs and beans. I am happy to see your dedication and love for the you-pick section!

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