Week 6: A Quintessential Farming Day

Today was a quintessential farming day: too much to do in a short window of opprtunity. With evening rain forecast after weeks of parching heat THIS is the day to seed the main fall crops. Any later and crops risk not reaching full size; any earlier it would have been too dry for germination. Of course, today is also the time for picking all the vegetables, which usually takes us all day. In the afternoon I prepped the beds, and as the time for seeding became closer the rainclouds also drew near, ahead of schedule. I made my best quick calculation on seeding rates and we started walking, one person pushing the 1950s Planet Jr. and another on the modern Jang seeder. 10 beds of beets and as many of carrots, 280 feet long, 3 rows per bed--over a mile and a half of root crops. It began drizzling. We closed the hopper lids. It began raining. We walked on. Soon we were soaked, and soon too was the ground. Our seeders gumming up with soggy dirt, we made it to the end of a field block, and other workers began replacing the rowcover behind us to protect the beds from compacting in the impending storm. We completed half the seeding, which is good enough considering the conditions, and the critical seeds went in the ground. Then it was on to the rest of the CSA picking and packing, to wrap up the regular day.

Farming, in a way, is about getting things done during the window of opportunity, no matter what ridiculousness is required. I'm happy with the day. We all felt the accomplishment of getting the job done in poor conditions, and the farm is better off than if we'd given up and waited until later.