Friday, May 13, 2016

Farming Friday...

Since the weather has skipped Spring and moved straight to Summer, things are crazy on the farm right now. The bees are here and busy working. There are too many berries on the bushes already. The ground needs to be watered before we can plant the new plants. My flowerbeds, and our lawn all need water as well! It’s DRY out there.

And if this keeps up, last summer might not be a singular anomaly.

Or it’s going to rain all July.

Only in Western Washington does good weather only serve to make us suspicious…Payback cometh.

This week, Randy and his right hand man, Jake, were able to get all the biodegradable film laid out for the new planting. The dirt has been worked over the last couple of weeks; lime added and tilled in as well. The rows were marked. The irrigation connectors were dug up from where they had been buried so they could be reconnected once the drip tape was in. There are a lot of steps of preparation.

It looks like this once it's done.

And it goes in like this.

Once again, Randy created his own system to install it because no one makes a tool specific for this application. Randy became interested in the biodegradable film as it could save us from many costly hours of weeding…Or more realistically, save us from getting far behind on weeding! The film degrades through the winter, and then the rows are open for growth, and the drip tape, laid under the film, will be lifted to water from a suspended position.

It also makes planting so easy, and fun! I’ll have to tell you more about that next week. Right now, the drip tape has been all connected so that we can water under the film to create a very welcoming environment for the little tissue culture plant plugs that will reside there.

The forecast for the weekend includes rain, and that would be very welcome – but lately, the precipitation amounts have been underwhelming. Under the current conditions, we would not be disappointed if we had to put off planting for a day or two because it rained!

I have been working on farming operations as well, but at the computer. We are in the midst of creating our Good Agricultural Practices Manual (referred to as GAP – but certainly not The Gap, which I might rather write about) – and it is a comprehensive and exhaustive document…

And exhausting…You have to prove by your plan and your actions and your documentation of said actions that you are growing food safely. There are about a zillion ways that you can mess up, so GAP is your chance to prove that you have thought of 99% of them, and mitigated the risk…

…which makes me think that we may one day have to grow everything in a climate-controlled, access-controlled environment – like a greenhouse because nature has so many pesky naturally dirty things in it.

However, we do want to do everything we can to make sure our food is as safe as it can be. I just wish it didn’t take so long to write it all down.

Thankfully, I have the baby goats to visit when I need a break, and they are always good for kicks and giggles. And when I say kicks, I mean it literally. They are climbing everything they can, and tonight for the first time, one of them was trying to jump up the wall to a ledge. He is WAY too little to make it, but that doesn’t keep him from trying. Like most animal babies, they play crazily, and then collapse into comas. They are always finding little cramped spaces in which to take a nap, all in a pile. Oh, they are just so adorable!

Barnaby is having a hard time adjusting to NOT being the cutest one around here. If you are in his vicinity, this will be your view...He's making sure that he will not be forgotten.

Though I have some concern about our early summer here, isn’t it just gorgeous everywhere you look? Flowers, sunrises, sunsets, puffy clouds…vibrant color. I’m just going to enjoy it. Harvest is going to be as early as last year, which means we lose a couple of weeks of prep time – but we’ll get ‘er done – somehow!
The neighbor's corn is up.

The peonies are huge and loaded with blooms.

My weeping golden chain tree is the most beautiful I've ever seen it!

My Dutch Girl Greenhouse actually worked out pretty well. Time to get these plants in their pots!

1 comment:

Ridgely said...

You guys are a wonder, you make farming look easy and we all know IT'S NOT!!! Thanks for letting me "farm" with you vicariously!

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life ( and one where I can vent. (