A few months ago, I was thankful to have made a conscious choice to hold off planting till much later in the spring. I was not overly happy with the wet April, but as farmers we do our best and work around the weather.
I am not overly ecstatic that we are two weeks into May and it, the weather, has only marginally improved. Now, we are going to be “Mudding” in our transplants into less-than-ideal seedbeds. It will be fine, but I was hoping for a reprieve in the weather by now and been able avoid this unusually wet spring.
It will come together and because we are starting later, we haven’t had to replant any crops, but we will have to rework all the soil to help it dry out so we can begin the planting process again. With organic farming, more tillage and weeding are required, and because we are choosing to not use any of the “cides” (pesticides, herbicides, fungicides) everything takes longer. The soil is healthier, and the bacteria and fungi have free reign to work their magic.
This week we are hoping to get our second planting of lettuce in and first plantings of onions. We have been busy with a bunch of farm things, mostly getting ahead of the fence line and tree rows to keep the black berries at bay. We have removed thousands of feet of barbwire fences and hundreds of t-posts and wood posts this spring to make it easier to maintain and cut for hay. While I am grateful to have had the time to get some maintenance and major projects finished, I am ready to grow vegetables.
We are plowing forward with the expectation that the weather will moderate and we will have enough good weather to get our crops in the ground. I do know that when the weather breaks it is going to be an all-out sprint to plant as much as we can.
Thankfully, America encompasses many different climates and time zones and as a whole we are blessed to have different regions around our country growing food at different times. I find it fascinating that farms in Skagit County that have sandier soils are able to plant earlier than I am, even though we are basically neighbors. The soil type is the deciding factor. Our soil is heavier and tends to hold more moisture, theirs is sandier. Sandier is great for early spring, but less ideal for hotter weather, our soil is the exact opposite, we are slower out of the gate, but do not dry out as quickly when the weather turns hotter. We need all types of farms, soil and regions to feed people.
Tristan, Joelle, and Box of Good crew